This story has been edited to reflect that no food giveaway will be held this week at MCC.
BRIGHTON, N.Y. — An effort to feed veterans during the pandemic that began in the New England area has expanded to Rochester.
David Chapin of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association and the Massachusetts Military Support Foundation, who led the charge, says they began the Food 4 Vets Food Box Distribution in March 2020 in New England because of the hardships the COVID-19 pandemic brought.
The effort expanded to Rochester because they wanted to help as many veterans as possible as the pandemic continues.
Chapin added that each food box can feed two people for two weeks.
"People not being able to work, do they want to pay bills or pay for food?” Chapin asked. “We try to take away the equation and said ‘we will give you the food.’ Now you can pay your bills and now you don't have to worry about where your next meal is coming from."
For the Veterans Outreach Center, it's also about assisting veterans to find employment and linking them with behavioral health services.
"We work with veterans,” said Marianne Sernoffsky. “This is what we do and to us the veterans have served our country. Now it’s our time to serve them back. We are here to give and take care of our veterans and their families in any way that they can."
As someone who served in the army for 25 years, Chapin believes in his organization's motto, "veterans helping veterans."
"It doesn't matter what war you served in or what time you served in,” Chapin said. “It's a brotherhood bond better than a blood relationship, because it doesn't matter if you are a career veteran or a veteran of today, you could all understand each other's story."