In honor of Memorial Day, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas partnered with nonprofits and businesses to distribute donated groceries, prepared meals, and reusable water bottles to veterans and their families in South Los Angeles.
“This COVID-19 pandemic is greatly impacting our veterans and we are continuing our support of those who have served our country,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas.
The event was held at American Legion Chappie James Post 578 and more than 80 veterans and their families received items via the drive-thru, no physical contact event.
Locally and throughout the nation, ceremonies and parades have either been canceled or moved online. “This is a very unusual Memorial Day, people are not doing BBQ’s and picnics as they would normally do,” said General Ruth Wong, Director of the Military & Veterans Affairs at Los Angeles County. “This food distribution is our community giving back to our veterans.”
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the rate of COVID-19 cases among its patient population is falling, however the death rate continues to increase, claiming more than 1,000 veterans so far. The National Coalition of Homeless Veterans reports that nearly 1.4 million veterans are considered at risk of homelessness due to poverty, lack of support networks, and dismal living conditions in overcrowded or substandard housing. The distribution event sought to serve veterans who have seen a significant reduction in income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The veterans who received items today were so grateful,” said Patricia Jackson-Kelley, Second District Appointee to the Veterans Advisory Commission. “Lots are not working during this time and need our support.”
Partners included the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Veterans Advisory Commission, Kilroy Realty, Fueling the Fearless, CEO Emergency Food Security Branch, LA Regional Food Bank, Chappie James Post, and Park Mesa Heights Community Council. Fueling the Fearless donated prepared meals from Sweetgreen. LA Regional Food Bank provided grocery boxes and aided with grocery distribution.