A mobile food bank with a twist

Connecting vets to healthy meals

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (KFVS) - The Southeast Missouri Food Bank’s getting into a unique partnership that will provide a whole new kind of support for local veterans.

Army Veteran Matthew Backfisch is talking about the new mobile food pantry opening once a month at the John J. Pershing VA Medical Center.

They’ve teamed up with the Southeast Missouri Food Bank to provide healthy foods to veterans in need.

"It helps veterans be healthy,” Backfisch said.

Backfisch said he’s already started eating healthy, but it’s expensive. He said the food pantry will help him save.

“A little less money out of my pocket,” he said.

Lisa Church with SEMO Food Bank said the pantry will provide fresh produce and canned goods. Medicaid and SNAP assistance will also be available.

Church also said they are honored to take part in the project.

“We’re certainly happy to be able to serve our veterans they are people who have served us,” she said.

John Cornelius, a peer support leader, for the VA Medical Center said the food pantry will also give veterans the chance to talk with dietitians about making healthier choices.

“Its important that we be able to provide these healthy food choices to our veterans so they can start to see improvements in those areas that are going to help them thrive,” he said.

Navy Veteran Rachel Spinks said she this will come in handy for family.

“I am a single parent and I raise two kids," she said.

Spinks also is looking forward to more than just the food this pantry provides.

“It’s small world when it comes down to it , and just sharing stories,” she added.

If you are interested in volunteering or donating , you can call the VA for more information at (573) 686-4151.

The first Veterans Healthy Food Surplus pantry will be held on June 26 from 8 to 10 a-m. It will be located at the John J. Pershing VA Medical Center walking track.

All veterans must bring an identification card.

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