'Hardest hit': Local VFW post continues distributing food to vets in need

John A. Pavoncello
York Dispatch

For the past four years, volunteers have gathered at VFW Post No. 556 on Eberts Lane the fourth Tuesday of each month to distribute food to less-fortunate veterans through the Military Share Program. 

While some locations for the program have decided to halt the distribution during the COVID-19 pandemic, the volunteers at Post No. 556 realized the even greater need for the food supplies. 

"The hardest hit (during the pandemic) are going to be those veterans who live on fixed incomes," said post auxiliary President Deb Etheridge, a Gold Star mother from Dover. The auxiliary decided to go ahead with this month's distribution because of that need. 

Because of the risk of exposure, the volunteers did change how the program veterans and their families would receive this month's supply. Food was distributed through a drive-up service. Normally program recipients would come inside the VFW for lunch and then collect their items.

Started by the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, the program supports more than 250 York County veterans and their families through several distribution sites.

With the VFW being closed down during the  crisis, the organization has lost revenue to pay for the food, Etheridge said. 

Donations to help fund the Military Share Program can be made to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, with instructions detailing a distribution location noted in the memo section of the check. Donations also can be made directly to the distribution locations.