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Food bank numbers for veterans goes from dozens to hundreds

This is the second year for the VFW Post 8724's food bank, and the number of veterans it serves jumped from 45 last year to 500 this year, according to auxiliary organizers. (WJAC)

DUNCANSVILLE -- This is the second year for the VFW Post 8724's food bank and the number of veterans it serves jumped from 45 last year to 500 this year, according to auxiliary organizers.

Auxiliary President Keri Blackie said that last year people needed the food, but were hesitant to ask.

"A lot of people were afraid they would be considered 'low-income' and 'in need,' but they really weren't. This was (out of) appreciation for our veterans for everything they have done for our country," Blackie said.

"I don't consider it a handout. We consider it a hand-up," said veteran Dwyane Anders.

He said the food bank not only helps veterans get back on their feet, but also makes sure their families are not left behind.

"A lot of people who participate are actually the widows of veterans who have passed away, so it's actually still carrying on their legacy to assist the families," Anders said.

Veterans, families and active duty service men and women are accepted, as long as they show a military ID, Veterans Affairs card, or a DD Form 214, according to Blackie.

The VFW gets the food from the Central PA Food Bank, which serves 27 counties, according to its website.

Blackie said they currently operate with 40 volunteers, and are always looking for more.

Anders said that even if someone does not volunteer or donate to help veterans, a simple act of appreciation will do. "If you see a man or a woman with a hat with a military logo, just go up and thank them for their service. It means a lot."

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