(WNY News Now) – Initiated to combat food insecurity amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the “Veterans Feeding Veterans” program builds upon a public-private partnership to provide fresh and healthy meals to those in need.
New York – Governor Kathy Hochul celebrated the ongoing success of an initiative aimed at distributing meals to veterans, service members, and their families in New York. The program is a collaborative effort between the New York State Department of Veterans’ Services and HelloFresh, the world’s leading meal kit delivery company. Launched to address exacerbated food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic, the initiative extends the impact of the successful Nourish New York initiative, which strives to reduce food insecurity and support food producers across the state. Since its inception, the program has distributed more than 1.4 million healthy meals, including thousands of meal kits for the Thanksgiving holiday.
“Our veterans, service members, and their families have sacrificed for our nation, and the State of New York will forever be thankful for their service,” Governor Hochul stated. “This partnership works to reduce food insecurity for those who have served us, while supporting the food producer industry across the state.”
For Thanksgiving this year, HelloFresh donated 1,300 turkeys, along with 1,000 additional meal kits containing sweet potatoes, white potatoes, broccoli, and cranberries. Additionally, 1,000 chicken meal kits were provided. These kits were distributed with the assistance of the New York City Department of Veterans’ Services to more than a dozen organizations for veterans and military families to enjoy during the holiday. Amazon, Inc. affiliates Cazares Logistics and Twin Woods Transportation also contributed by donating their services for the delivery of these meal kits.
The “Veterans Feeding Veterans” initiative, launched in June 2020, addresses the elevated food insecurity faced by veterans and military families, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. This impact was magnified as many veterans could not leave their homes due to vulnerable health conditions. The program has proven to be a vital lifeline for veterans in various regions of New York, including New York City, the North Country, and Western New York.
Volunteers from Black Veterans for Social Justice and The Campaign Against Hunger pack and assemble HelloFresh meal kits each week in New York City. These kits are then distributed with the organizational assistance of the New York City Department of Veterans’ Services. The program represents a collaborative effort to provide essential support for veterans and their families facing food insecurity.
The New York State Department of Veterans’ Services, established in 1945, serves as the state’s advocacy agency for veterans, service members, and military families. The department offers support in various practice areas, including claims and appeals for benefits from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans, service members, and military families are encouraged to contact the department for assistance.
The New York City Department of Veterans’ Services focuses on connecting, mobilizing, and empowering the city’s veteran community. They provide support on issues such as employment, housing, food security, wellbeing, benefits, culture, and targeted advocacy.
HelloFresh, the world’s leading meal-kit company, operates in 18 international markets, delivering over 450 million meals to customers across the U.S. in 2021. Known for its commitment to sustainability, HelloFresh became the first carbon-neutral meal-kit company. Recognized for outstanding customer service, HelloFresh was named America’s Best Customer Service for Meal Kits in 2020 and the Most Trusted Meal Kit Delivery Service in America in 2021 and 2022 by Newsweek.