PDT Staff Writer
In March Mike Bell, a disabled veteran went homeless for two days to raise food, money awareness for Veterans Helping Veterans and Others. Bell has decided to do it again next weekend for the same purposes.
“I have four other veterans that will be assisting me this year. Their wives or fiancees or whatever will drop them off at 6 p.m. next Friday, (September 21) evening with only the cloths on their back,” Bell said.
He said the group will not have access to cell phones or computers during the event.
“From 6 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Sunday our main goal will be to collect 7,000 cans of food and $1,500 for Veterans Helping Veterans food pantry,” Bell said.
He said in March, when Bell did the event himself, it raised 5,000 cans of food and $1,000.
The veterans will be staying in front of Daymar College on Rhodes Ave. in New Boston. They will be staying in cardboard houses they will construct.
He said all people have to do is pull up to the curb and there will be people to collected the donated items.
According to Bell, the participating veterans will not have any money on them.
“Whatever the public gives them as far a food and drinks, that is all they get,” Bell said.
Bell said he had planned on doing this in November, but due to current need he decided to step the date up.
“I talked with John Foster (Founder of Veterans Helping Veterans and Others) and about two and a half weeks ago, they gave away 1,000 pounds of food. That cleared out their foodbank. He told me he did not know where the next round of food would come from,” Bell said. “In this day and age we should not have hungry veterans and families, but we do. But, this is reality and it’s our job go out there and try to change that reality.”
Bell said the food pantry has four freezers that have sat empty four four months because they can’t get fresh meat.
“This is why we want to raise $1,500 to help them keep a supply of meat,” Bell said.
Foster said the situation at the food pantry has reached emergency level.
“Our food pantry is down to hardly nothing, we have no meat in the freezer. We have no money for bread and other things to give to our veterans,” Foster said.
He said the Veterans Helping Veterans and Others food pantry has made an impact on the community.
“With the money and food we raise it will allow Veterans Helping Veterans to continue doing what they do when it comes to their pantry,” Bell said.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or firstname.lastname@example.org.