ARKANSAS — The River Valley Regional Food Bank will give each of 250 military veterans a 35-pound box of food on Saturday, November 10, following the Veterans Day Parade in the Chaffee Crossing Historic District.
The “Bounty Box” project in appreciation for veterans’ service to the nation will be conducted next to the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 467 building on Redwood Drive.
Previously selected veterans who were given a voucher will drive through the gifting area, and Food Bank staff and volunteers will place the food items in the veterans’ automobiles.
In October, the Arkansas Veterans Coalition assisted the Food Bank by distributing the vouchers to veterans throughout the Food Bank’s 8-county service area who could especially benefit from the gift of food.
“Across the country, one fifth of the families who visit food pantries for assistance include a veteran,” Tracy Engel, Food Bank director, says. “As part of the Feeding America network of 200 food banks across the country, we work year-round to provide food for veterans through our food pantry partners. At this time of year, we are happy to get to help some veterans in this special way, as well.”
Three co-sponsors chipped in to support the project: the Western Arkansas Military Community Council, Yeager Hardware, and Rath Auto Resources.
Accompanying the 11-pound frozen turkey are green beans, carrots, corn, pinto beans, cranberry sauce, yams, mashed potatoes, stuffing, macaroni and cheese, gravy, rolls, and even a sheet cake.
Besides food, each veteran will also receive a handmade card with a message of thanks, written and illustrated by area students. Producing the cards during the past two months were students of Belle Point School and ROTC cadets of Greenwood, Northside and Van Buren high schools.
“The artwork and messages of respect, appreciation and love will fill the veterans’ hearts as much as the food will their stomachs,” Engel says.