Every week through the VA Voluntary Services Program, Red Cross volunteers help distribute food to veterans at the Jesse Brown VA Food Pantry. This is their way of saying thank you to the men and women who answered to their country’s call.
Kelsey Smith and Adisa Suljic from the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois with Don Jackson from the Jesse Brown VA Food Pantry.
Unlike most pantries, which provide fixed food selections, the Jesse Brown VA Food Pantry is a self-select pantry where recipients have a variety of food to choose from. By choosing their own food, veterans are receiving food that they need, enjoy, and will use. This also enables veterans to meet their personal dietary needs.
On Tuesday, October 30, a total of 150 veterans were served fresh produce, meat, dairy, bread, and canned goods. Volunteers assisted as personal shoppers for the veterans by bagging items that veterans chose. While browsing the available food options, a veteran exclaimed, “Wow, this is better than going to a supermarket!”
The Red Cross is all about neighbors helping neighbors, and at the Jesse Brown VA Food Pantry, it’s all about helping veterans. In five years, the pantry has helped over 15,000 veterans and their families; and every Tuesday, Red Cross volunteers are there to meet, greet, and support veterans.
If you know of any veterans that need help with food supplement, please let them know of this service. The pantry is located on the second floor of the Damen Pavilion in the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, and it’s open every Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
To learn more about the Red Cross’ Service to the Armed Forces programs, visit www.redcross.org/saf.
Written by Adisa Suljic, Communications and Marketing Intern