JOHNSTOWN, CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ Plus) — The Veterans Leadership Program, or VLP, in partnership with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, hosted a drive-up food distribution for veterans and military families in need.
VLP provides assistance to 4,000 veterans and their families through housing, employment and more each year.
“Something as simple as a food bank, you reach clients that you wouldn’t meet coming to your office. Not everybody needs help until they know they need help. They come in and do this food bank and we find out that they might need help with housing, a rental, employment…so we take full advantage of doing things like this so we can help them in every aspect,” says Tim Martin, Director of Client Experience with VLP.
Martin is a veteran himself.
“When I got out of the service, I needed to find a purpose again and the best way to give back is to contribute to your brothers and sisters. As a former homeless vet myself when I came out, it became very dear to my heart.”
He says no one is bigger than the pandemic.
“People that typically do well are now struggling, I mean you’ll see people come through with Porsche’s. At this time, no one is exemptified from hard times.”
Today each vehicle was given three boxes of food with fresh produce, canned goods and dairy products.
In tough times, another veteran says the work of VLP is much appreciated.
“VLP has helped me through the years and I thank God for them. With the situation that’s going on with the coronavirus, this is a good step,” says Eric Oliver.”It shows comradery with the community that there is help out there and that it’s shown.”
In total VLP and the food bank served 250 people and did it all while social distancing.
“Open your trunk, keep your windows open and upon arrival, we’ll place the items in the back of the truck, close it and you can move out another exit,” says Martin.