According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), food prices rose by 11% between August 2021 and August 2022 and are expected to increase another 8% this year!
HVAF is seeing this increased need firsthand, with an increase in visits to the food pantry month over month. March was the busiest month for the pantry since the start of the pandemic.
According to the RAND Corporation, veterans who are younger, lower ranking, and recently separated from the military are at higher risk of food insecurity. Also at higher risk are veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, rural veterans, and those who live in low-income areas. RAND also reported that nearly 30% of women veterans are food insufficient.
Navy Veteran Darryl is one of the 245 veterans who visited the pantry last month. He first heard about HVAF around 10 years ago.
“I was going through mental challenges. I couldn’t maintain employment. Being a veteran I didn’t know help was available to me,” Darryl said. “Once I found out, by the time I was on the phone, to when I walked through the door – I was treated with respect. And I was very grateful because I was already feeling bad enough.”
This year, he has come back to HVAF for help – specifically with receiving essential food from our pantry – which is 100% dependent on donations.
Darryl is thankful for the pantry and those who help him shop as they all treat him with dignity. He is also appreciative of those who donate the items, as he notices the great quality of food HVAF provides.
“I am grateful for it. I’m also mindful that others need much more than I. I try to be wise and only come when I need to,” Darryl said. “But when I do it’s appreciated, and it’s needed.”
With emergency food relief funding decreasing this year, we are more reliant than ever on your help to continue to stock our pantry shelves. To support HVAF’s food pantry, please consider making a donation: