About the Saugus Mobile Veteran Food Market
The inspiration for our new program, the Veteran Mobile Food Market, comes from a fellow VSO in a nearby community who was concerned about the nutrition of a veteran’s widow receiving income assistance from his office. He was helping this client carry her groceries when he unwittingly saw her only purchase that day was cat food. The problem was, she didn’t own a cat.
He immediately realized a supplement program was necessary. He confirmed his suspicion that when forced to choose between quality food and heat, his clients consistently chose warmth. He partnered with an existing Greater Boston Food Bank initiative that brings quality fresh produce and food items to suburban Boston veterans. He now delivers more than 20 pounds of fresh food per family to more than 100 veterans every single month.
We decided joining this effort was a simple way to keep our promise to find innovative ways to improve veteran quality of life without increasing already stretched budgets. We started with 11 homes being served in April of 2015 and are at over 100 as of February of 2016.
We are hoping to erase those stigmas. Our pantries do a tremendous job of delivering food with dignity; opening off hours in some cases to make sure our veterans always have enough to eat. Our program, a once a month nutritional supplement, aims to not only provide quality food, but also to connect veterans and their families to options that can allow fixed-income residents to focus less on food and more on other important quality of life measures.
There is no eligibility for our program except veteran status/connection and a need for quality food. If you are a veteran or know a veteran that may benefit from this new initiative, we ask that you contact one of our offices and simply request to be added to next month’s delivery. We run the program in each district community on the first Wednesday of every month. We will continue this market as long as resources remain available and a need exists.
***Contact Alicia Reddin in the Veteran Services Office to register *** 781-231-4010 AREDDIN@SAUGUS-MA.GOV