homepage logo

Veteran’s Table feeds local veterans

By Staff | Jun 26, 2020

Commander Joe Craeger, left, assists Chad Cooper, a U.S. Marine Corp veteran who served from 2009-2012, with a food donation as part of the Veteran's Table project. Toni Milbourne

CHARLES TOWN — VFW Post 3522, in Charles Town, began the Veteran’s Table project just before the COVID-19 outbreak and plans to continue hosting it through the fall.

Once a month, veterans receive free groceries at the post home on Liberty Street. According to Auxiliary President Lynne Casto, the project is in cooperation with Mountaineer Food Bank and St. James Catholic Church.

Veterans receive a box containing meat, vegetables, milk and bread. The contents depend upon what is available through the food bank for the given day. The food arrives pre-boxed, other than meat and other refrigerated goods, and each veteran receives a box along with the refrigerated items of fresh meat.

Veteran Bud Casto expressed the thought that “our vets are prideful and always want to give, not receive.” He added that the Veteran’s Table project gives an opportunity for the veterans to be on the receiving end.

“It takes a place like the VFW that is able to reach vets we know who are otherwise reluctant to ask,” Casto said.

The Veteran’s Table project provides a needed boost to local veterans and their families. Lynne shared that approximately 50-55 veterans receive the donations each month.

“We are hoping to get more veterans added,” Lynne said.

She added that the project coincides with one of the prominent themes of the VFW organization, “Everything we do, we do for veterans.”

In fact, the state purpose of the VFW of the United States is “to preserve and strengthen comradeship among its members; to assist worthy comrades; to perpetuate the memory and history of the dead and to assist their surviving spouses and orphans; to maintain true allegiance to the government of the United States of America and fidelity to its institutions of American freedom, and to preserve and defend the United States for all her enemies.”

Members of the VFW 3522 Post take it seriously when recognizing, honoring and assisting veterans and their families. The inception of the Veteran’s Table project was one more way the group could reach out and assist those in need.

The next scheduled drop-off is July 9, from 3-6 p.m. The dates for August through October events will be the second Thursday of each month.

Lynne said veterans who have not previously signed up are encouraged to arrive early.