David Harris* didn't intend to bring his three-year-old daughter to his MVRC appointment, but when his wife became ill he didn't have a choice.
"He had an interview later that day, and while I was helping him prepare, his daughter spoke up and said she was hungry," said Career Specialist Dan Dunaway.
Dunaway gave her a snack, and on a hunch, asked Harris if he needed help with groceries. Harris said yes.
Dunaway helped him fill out an application for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) so he could receive long-term food assistance, and provided him with enough food from MVRC's food bank until the application was approved.
"Sometimes veterans come in and they're too embarrassed to ask for help with food," said Dunaway. "Our food bank is a great resource because they don't have to fill out any forms or go through a formal application process if they're in a tight spot."
In the last year, many veterans like Harris have come to MVRC for career assistance and have indicated they also need help providing food for their families until they have stable employment. For this reason, our food bank has become one of the most critical services we offer veterans and is the focus of our largest annual food collection, the Feed Ohio Vets food drive.
Since the food drive kicked off on August 23, we have collected over 2,000 pounds of food for our food bank and have raised $5,280.00--almost doubling the food and monetary donations raised during last year's inaugural food drive. Organizations such as the American Legion, AMVETS, the DAV, VFW, the Veterans County Service Center, and Vietnam Veterans of America all made donations, which will help us provide thousands of meals to military families in need.
In addition, ten Waffle Houses in the Greater Cincinnati area are collecting for our food bank and have agreed to keep our donation boxes at their stores until the end of the year. If the collection is successful, MVRC and Waffle House will continue to partner. It seems the collection has already gotten off to a good start. Last week, Waffle House made their first delivery to the food bank, which totaled to 220 lbs. of food.
Although the food drive has ended, we will continue to collect food for our food bank throughout the year. All donations of food and personal care items can be dropped off at one of our six locations. If you would like to make a monetary donation, visit the Donate page of our website, or contact us at 614-230-0662 today.
*His name has been changed out of respect for his privacy.