Inaugural event supports low-income veterans in Atlanta

Over 200 low-income, at-risk and homeless veterans from the Atlanta area received food assistance during the inaugural Veteran Mobile Food Distribution event hosted on Oct. 27 by Soldiers’ Angels at the Arcadia VA Clinic in Decatur.

The event was the first of what will now be a monthly event for Atlanta-area veterans. The Soldiers’ Angels Hunger Relief Program is a nationwide initiative that was started in September of 2015 at the Soldiers’ Angels headquarters in San Antonio, Texas. The program continued on a monthly basis in San Antonio and was also established in four other cities across the country: Charleston, South Carolina; Denver, Colorado; Detroit, Michigan, and now, Atlanta, Georgia.

“Cities that have a large military presence, such as Atlanta, tend to also have a large population of low-income veterans. The Veteran Mobile Food Distribution event was created to provide food assistance specifically to low-income, at-risk and homeless veterans and so we are focusing on cities with high percentages of those demographics,” said Vicki Sarracino, senior director of field operations at Soldiers’ Angels.

At the event, veterans were provided with approximately 50 pounds of food assistance, including fresh fruit, vegetables, and meats, at no cost. Working with local food banks in each city, the event is set up as a mobile food distribution, which means the food comes to a specific location to be distributed. In Atlanta, the organization partnered with the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

The distribution is set up drive-through style so the veterans, many of whom have injuries, wouldn’t have to get out of their cars. Individuals who don’t have cars walked through with a volunteer and loaded groceries into a cart or wagon.

“Not only is this a great event for attending veterans, but it’s also a fantastic opportunity for our volunteers to give back to our military heroes,” added Sarracino.

With Atlanta’s distribution event taking place every month, the organization is need of volunteers to help with the food distribution drive. Additionally, companies and organizations can support the event by sponsoring and even have employees volunteer.

Soldiers’ Angels was founded in 2003 by the mother of two American soldiers. It aims to provide aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, their families, and the growing veteran population. With its hundreds of thousands of Soldiers’ Angels “Angel” volunteers, the organization assists veterans, wounded and deployed personnel and their families in a variety of unique and effective ways.

“The vision behind Soldiers’ Angels is ‘May No Soldier Go Unloved’,” added Sarracino. “Our hope with this event is to reach the low-income veterans and let them know that they are loved and appreciated for the sacrifices they have made in service to our country.”

In other news

More than 40 employees in Avison Young’s Atlanta office dedicated their afternoon to volunteering at the Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta during the firm’s fourth annual Global Day of Giving. The employees from the full-service commercial real estate firm built and painted 40 dining tables, which will be donated to people in need, as part of the bank’s mission.

Who’s doing good?Each Tuesday, we write about charity events such as fun-runs, volunteer projects and other community gatherings that benefit a good cause. To suggest an event for us to cover, contact Devika Rao at doing.goodAJC@gmail.com


Information: soldiersangels.org

To volunteer, email Dianne Moore at dmoore@soldiersangels.org