Helping Hungry Veterans
Hunger-Free Pennsylvania's diverse network of partners work to secure financial resources to purchase, and provide access to, healthy and affordable food. We recognize the day-to-day struggles that so many families endure to put healthful food on the table. That's why we are working to ensure those families have access to the kind of resources that can address the root causes of hunger, such as good jobs and dependable benefits.
Among the individuals we strive to serve are our veterans. They served our country; we want to give back.
In central Pennsylvania, for example, we know that one in four households receiving food assistance from the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank have at least one family member who has served in the military. But we also know that many Pennsylvanians who are entitled to benefits from the Veteran’s Administration (VA) are not using them. These are benefits that could help veterans buy homes, earn degrees, train for jobs, jumpstart careers, and do more after service.
Many veterans think they’re not eligible, or they don’t know what’s available, or they just don’t apply.
And we're not just talking about our uniformed men and women who recently returned from active duty. We're talking about every veteran.
Our anti-hunger organizations work to improve the health of low-income elderly individuals at least 60 years of age by supplementing their diets with nutritious food through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CFSP). And here in Pennsylvania, veterans make up over 6 percent of seniors served through that program --- veterans who may be entitled to additional assistance from the VA --- such as the VA pension program, which may benefit wartime veterans who are age 65 or older, or those who have a permanent and total non-service-connected disability, and have limited or no income.
But again, many veterans think they’re not eligible, or they don’t know what’s available, or they just don’t apply.
That’s why Hunger Free Pennsylvania and the Veteran’s Administration are teaming up for "Explore VA," a campaign to make sure that all Veterans --- in Pennsylvania and across the nation --- can easily learn about and apply for VA benefits for housing, education and training, employment, health care, life insurance, and more.
Encourage the veterans you know to discover the benefits they are eligible for. To take the first step, all they need to do is visit Explore.VA.gov.