Thanksgiving Dinner Deliveries | November 21, 2020

On Saturday, November 21st, the good people at New Covenant Christian Church in Roanoke donated 35 complete uncooked Thanksgiving dinners to veterans enrolled in the Vittles for Vets program.

Because of COVID, our fundraising events have been limited. We have been worried about raising the funds to cover a proper Thanksgiving meal for these men and women who have served our country and have now fallen on hard times. What a blessing this generous gift was!

Donna Salmons, a Vittles for Vets volunteer, shared this report from the field:

The temperature reached close to 70 degrees on Saturday, November 21st, but the real warmth was found in the hearts of the Vittles for Vets volunteers as they delivered Thanksgiving meals to veterans in the program.

David Salmons and I, along with some other amazing Vittles of Vets volunteers, were up bright and early to pick up generously packed boxes from New Covenant Christian Church in Roanoke. Each package contained the makings of a Thanksgiving meal complete with a turkey and much more. Areas were divided up between volunteers and meals delivered without a hitch.

For several volunteers it was their first interaction with one of the veterans in the program since the weekly grocery cards, which are the primary mission of Vittles, are distributed by mail correspondence. In fact, I had not had the pleasure of meeting any of the veterans in the program until yesterday. My heart will never be the same.

Most of our veterans were living in small sparsely furnished apartments. When we knocked they met us at the door with so much gratitude to receive a turkey and a box of items to prepare a nice holiday dinner.

A small child answered the door at one home and our veteran was lying on a mattress in the living room. I later found out she suffers from chronic pain. Another younger disabled man followed us to the steps asking our names and where we from while another older man met us at the door of his apartment building eager to get his meal inside for fear of it being stolen because of the area where he lives.

I had heard Vittles’ founder, Bill McCann, speak of the living conditions of some of the veterans in the program, but after seeing it with my own eyes, my heart hurt. To meet these men and women who served our country, fought for our freedom and who now have to depend on others for food, was a humbling experience. As the door of each veteran’s home closed behind us, we were wished “Happy Thanksgiving!” and “Thank You!” and “God Bless You!” by these brave men, women and their families.

These are the men and women who fought for our freedom, who risked their lives for us, who gave their all so that we can live freely. They deserve so much more, but circumstances have led them to this.

We were truly blessed as we were given the opportunity to help these men and women. I am sure I can speak for all the wonderful volunteers when I say that our own Thanksgiving meal will be a little brighter this year after meeting and helping these veterans. I know I will enjoy each bite so much more knowing that these veterans will be enjoying their own special meal too.

A very special thank you to Reverend Chris Kingery and the congregation of New Covenant Christian Church for making this happen.

Would you like to learn more about how to support the important work of Vittles for Vets? Please consider a small donation or volunteering with us to help make sure struggling veterans in SW Virginia have access to healthy and life sustaining food. Learn more here.