CHICAGO (WLS) --They risked their lives for us and now this is your chance to give back to them. Hundreds of veterans are served each week by the Greater Chicago Food Depository, and a little extra help this time of year can go a long way.
Bags of food, hot lunch and services for future meals. Just a small portion of what the Greater Food Depository offers to our local vets.
"The need for veterans is high in our community. The Greater Food Depository operates two pantries specifically for veterans at the VA Hospitals in Cook County at Jesse Brown and at Hines and they are regularly serving between 125 and 175 veterans a week," said Emily Daniels, manager for the veterans programs for the Chicago Chicago Food Depository.
Combined, the two pantries have served nearly 88,000 vets and their families since opening their doors in 2013. The Food Depository also participated in this year's Veteran Stand Down making sure 650 veterans were prepared for the cold winter months ahead.
"Veterans are receiving long underwear, socks, bags, sleeping bags. I think the need amongst the veteran community the need is apparent all year round so we kind of just do what we can today to provide whatever we can," said Daniels.
Former vets like Nadim Kaade are doing what they can by volunteering time to help a fellow serviceman.
"I really do think there is a great need especially for the older vets. The younger vets have more opportunity but back then, the Vietnam era and all that stuff. There wasn't many opportunities out there for them. I've been doing this for about three years now just to help out our local Chicago Veterans. It's kind of unfortunate that a lot of these guys are homeless. I understand the sacrifices they made for our country because I wore those shoes as well, that's why I really want to help out these guys. That's the least that I can do," said Kaade.
A $5 donation would allow a veteran to receive one of those bags you saw their filled with ready to eat snacks items and the fresh produce.
ABC7 has partnered with the Northern Illinois Food Bank and Greater Chicago Food Depository for our "Share the Joy" virtual food drive. If you'd like to donate, click here.