LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Meals for Vets would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who stopped by our booth on Saturday at Mardi Gras. It's so amazing the support and response we received from the GREAT people of Bandera. We wanted to let everyone know who we are and how we can assist Veterans.
Meals for Vets was started in 2015 by Tom Wollney, who passed away in April 2021. His daughter Melinda Froess is now our Executive Director. We are based out of Fredericksburg, Texas. Meals for Vets provides meals for Texas Veterans, their families and Surviving Spouses who are primarily 59 and under. We will provide meals for any Veteran if they are 60 and over if they are on a waitlist with Meals on Wheels, or Meals on Wheels cannot provide a restricted diet they need or if the Veteran is outside the delivery area.
The Veteran must be below the area medium income level for their county and that amount varies from county to county. We pay a meal provider to deliver the meals to the Veteran. One of our largest meal providers is MOMS Meals.
They usually deliver the meals two weeks at a time and the meals are delivered by FEDEX or UPS. We also provide Emergency Meals from time to time depending on a Veterans circumstance. There have been times when we have provided emergency provisions for Veterans who have just left the hospital, just moved, ect and had them at their door within 2 to 3 hours. We do our very best to make sure no VETERAN we know or hear about goes hungry.
When we hear of other needs a Veteran may have, we do our very best to connect the Veteran to a human. We hear to many times a VETERAN has been given a phone number to call and when they call that number, they get another number, and the cycle begins. We want to do our best to make sure the VETERANS needs are met, or they are connected to someone that can assist them with their other needs.
Meals for Vets is a nonprofit, we operate solely on donations, fundraising and some grants. We are always looking for new ways to raise awareness for what we do and to let as many VETERANS as we can know that we are here for them. We are also always looking for new ways to raise funds so that we can continue our mission to feed as many Texas VETERANS as we can. The struggle with food insecurity is REAL within the VETERAN population. VETERANS sometimes find it hard to reach out and ask for help. They feel others may need it more.
One of our latest families we are now feeding are really struggling. When the VETERAN called in, he told our VETERAN Support Coordinator that the night before all his family had for dinner was a package of gravy mix mixed with water and that was their meal for the evening. I do not tell anyone their story for sympathy for the family I tell the story because the food insecurity is real among our VETERAN population. I tell the story to raise awareness in hopes that we can someday stop this vicious cycle of hunger among VETERANS and their families.