Carport Central believes in giving back by supporting various charities and sponsoring many community events. We recently had the opportunity to be a lead sponsor for the 2nd annual Vittles for Vets Charity Golf Tournament that was recently held in Pulaski, VA. We got to spend some one-on-one time with Vittles for Vets founder Bill McCann, and we were immediately struck by his passion and commitment to help his fellow veterans who have fallen on some hard times.
If you’re not familiar with Vittles for Vets, it’s time you learned more about this worthy organization. Vittles for Vets was founded in December 2014 by Vietnam veteran Bill McCann to help needy local veterans in southwestern Virginia and beyond with one of life’s basic necessities: food. It’s a nonprofit group created by veterans and managed by veterans that exists to help provide a hand-up for those men and women who have served our country, but now find themselves in need of some assistance
As McCann puts it, “What we do is we issue $50 food gift cards to veterans who qualify for the program. To qualify you must be other than dishonorably discharged, you must be alcohol- and drug-free, and you must be living at or below federal guidelines for poverty.” McCann said he launched the program as a result of an encounter he had with a homeless vet in Rhode Island back in 2014. He bought the fellow veteran a meal and gave him a gift card to a local supermarket, but after seeing the impact his gesture of kindness had on that gentleman, McCann realized he needed to do more.
“These people should not be going hungry,” McCann said. “We are the greatest country in the world, the richest country in the world, [but] we [still] have starving veterans and children … I figured [that] I would try to do something about that on a grassroots level.” So McCann decided to found Vittles for Vets, and he immediately began reaching out to seek grassroots sources of funding to help provide food for these veterans in need.
There are now some 75 local veterans enrolled in the program, and Vittles personally hands out grocery gift cards to each veteran on a regular basis. The cards must be used to purchase wholesome, nutritious food products only, and recipients are required to mail their grocery receipts back to Vittles for Vets for verification in order to remain in the program. It has been Vittles’ practice to give out grocery cards weekly, but unfortunately they currently don’t have the funds to be able to sustain that level of frequency. As a result, they’ve had to reduce the issuance of the $50 food gift cards from a weekly to a bi-weekly basis.
McCann is certainly appreciative and grateful for those who have stepped up to partner with Vittles for Vets along the way. At the same time, McCann also knows that there are many more veterans that Vittles could help, if they only had the resources to be able to do so. We’d like to encourage you to join with Carport Central in supporting the noble work that Vittles for Vets does on behalf of our veterans in need!
To learn more about how you can contribute to this noble effort, visit the Vittles for Vets Facebook page (they also have a wonderful informative video you can check out on YouTube), or just head over to their website at https://www.vittlesforvetsradfordva.com/. You can also reach out to Bill McCann directly at [email protected].
McCann would love to see Vittles gain more weekly and monthly sponsors, but he asked us to relay that anything you can provide to help the Vittles charity grow and be able to offer their services to additional veterans in need would be appreciated more than you could ever realize. Please help spread the word by liking and sharing the Vittles for Vets story on social media, too!