Michelle Dixon of Jackson and Daniel Glasco of Cape Girardeau prepare to load food during a drive-through food distribution April 14, 2020, at Cape First Church in Cape Girardeau. SEMO Food Bank has announced it has received a sizable Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust grant to continue a veterans’ health food program in the region.
Southeast Missourian file
Sikeston, Missouri-based Southeast Missouri Food Bank, which plans to open a satellite facility in Jackson, has been awarded a $46,500 grant to continue a healthy food surplus program for veterans.
In a news release, SEMO Food Bank said the money is coming through the Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust.
Officials said it began providing boxes of healthy food to veterans three years ago through a partnership with Poplar Bluff’s Veterans Administration Medical Center.
In 2021, according to the release, 88% of 58 veterans in the program who completed a pre-and post-survey reported improved health by having access to healthier foods.
“We know that access to healthier food is important to overall health,” said Joey Keys, chief executive officer of the food bank.
“Our veterans have already sacrificed so much. We hope that providing this nutritious food will help improve their well-being.”
The food is distributed to veterans in boxes monthly, each with 35 to 40 pounds of food — including lean protein and fresh fruit and vegetables.
SEMO Food Bank provides food to 140 food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters in 16 Southeast Missouri counties, including Cape Girardeau, Perry and Scott. The not-for-profit also provides food via mobile distributions, by feeding eligible seniors and by outfitting weekend food backpacks for children in 31 school districts.
SEMO Food Bank announced in January it plans to open a 18,500-square-foot center at 4536 E. Jackson Blvd. in Jackson by mid-summer to supplement the work done via its Scott County headquarters.