Veterans food bank asking community for help with donations

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Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 5:26 PM CDT
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GIBSON CO., Ind. (WFIE) - Veterans Food Bank of America president James Henager is asking for community member’s help with donations.

Veterans Food Bank of America President James Henager is a Vietnam veteran. As an Army medic, he recalls what it was like to not be able to eat during combat.

“I’ve known what it’s like to not have anything to eat, because when I was in service, I wasn’t allowed to eat on base, because I had a family,” said Henager.

Henager says that pride is keeping veterans away from their local pantries, so they instead turn to him.

“I’m having a hard time finding work,” said food bank beneficiary Jamie Catt. “And without this, there’d be a lot of days where I wouldn’t eat.”

Henager’s food bank now serves over double the amount of veterans it did in 2017.

“Here I can just lay back and be myself,” said Vietnam veteran William Gendren. “Everyone that comes in is a veteran, we all stand around and talk, and carry on.”

Gendren understands the feeling of not being able to financially cover everything one would like to.

“My wife had a stroke 13 and a half years ago, so I couldn’t always get everything she needed,” Gendren said. “So with the help of the food bank, they’ve extended my dollars a really good piece.”

The bank has seen people from outside the Tri-State area also make the trip. Henager says his farthest traveler was from Terre Haute.

The food bank also has sponsors, and through them, Gendren has seen his diet change for the better.

“We probably eat better through the food bank than we would buying it through the grocery store, because one of the sponsors gives stuff we would never buy,” Gendren said.

Sponsors can only help so much, so Henager is looking to the community for help. The food bank is accepting perishable, non-perishable and monetary donations to anyone able to give.

It goes a long way for those in need.

“It’s nice to get something sweet when you can’t afford it,” Catt said. “It just makes a better day all the way around when you get it.”

For those looking for avenues in which they can help, check out the food bank’s website for more information.

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