UTICA, N.Y., Dec. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Feed Our Vets, a nonprofit organization committed to ending hunger among veterans and their families, wants Americans to remember that many courageous soldiers are battling joblessness, homelessness and mental illness – major factors that contribute to hunger – as they consider their end of the year charitable donations.
"More than 10 percent of Gulf War veterans are unemployed and more than 62,000 veterans are homeless on any given night in America," said Richard Synek, the founder and director of Feed Our Vets. "Most Americans don't realize that tens of thousands of veterans and their families are food insecure, meaning they do not have enough food for themselves or their children."
Feed Our Vets not only provides food to homeless and unemployed veterans through its food pantries and mobile food truck, but also supplies nutritional groceries to many active duty soldiers and their families, including those stationed at Fort Drum.
According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the unemployment rate for veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan was 10.1 percent in September, above the national average of 7.2 percent. Thirteen percent of all homeless adults are veterans, and young veterans – those who served in the Gulf Wars – are more than twice as likely to become homeless as nonveteran adults of a similar age. About 27 percent of Gulf War veterans struggle with alcohol abuse, according to the National Institute for Drug Abuse.
In addition, nearly 35 percent of deployed service members experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, and 10 to 20 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have suffered a traumatic brain injury, a major factor contributing to joblessness and, ultimately, food insecurity.
"Many of our veterans are struggling today," said Synek. "We plead with Americans to remember that these men and women have fought for our freedoms, and they deserve our attention and our help."
About Feed Our Vets: Feed Our Vets is a nonprofit organization created to provide nutritious food to United States veterans whose circumstances have left them on the battlefield of hunger. The organization operates food pantries in Utica and Watertown, and a mobile pantry that delivers food to underserved veterans in upstate New York. Feed Our Vets also provides education and outreach nationwide to call attention to the needs of struggling veterans. Food Our Vets serves not only veterans, but also men and women still enlisted in the military, along with their families. For more information, visit www.feedourvets.org. http://youtu.be/l9JhFEZrXuk
Bill Morgan, Feed Our Vets
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SOURCE Feed Our Vets