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First ever food Pantry for Veterans opens in Mississippi


First ever food Pantry for Veterans opens in Mississippi

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Veteran Barbara Franklin picks up food from new pantry.
Sonny Montgomery VA Medical Center

The VA Medical Center in Jackson is opening a food pantry for veterans, the first of it's kind in Mississippi. MPB's Ashley Norwood reports.

Barbara Franklin is a veteran. She is going through the pantry, picking up food items and beverages.

Franklin lives in Greenville but she says she visits the Sonny Montgomery VA medical center in Jackson for checkups throughout the year. She thinks the pantry is a great idea.

"Well, it's good for those who need it. Every time I come down here, I'm going to look for it," said Franklin.

The Mississippi Food Network and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation are partners with the VA medical Center pantry. Marilyn Blacklege, with the food network says, many veterans in the state are food insecure.

"A lot of our veterans are living on a fixed income, or they're living on disability and it's very hard for them to make ends meet. So doing this, they will be able to come, they will be able to get food, they won't have to make the decisions of wether to buy their medicine or wether to pay rent or buy their food," said Blackledge.

Dr. David Walker, director of the medical center says the addition of the pantry is key in the overall healthcare of veterans in Mississippi.

"Yes it's about healthcare, but it's also about what about if they're homeless, now what about if they're hungry? You know what about preventive care? So it's not just hospitalization or healthcare. To me it's like a whole health approach and so that's why this is so important," said Walker.

Dr. Walker says the food pantry is open every Wednesday from 10 am to 2pm at the VA Medical Center in Jackson. All veterans are welcome. Ashley Norwood, MPB News.