With a new year upon us, Cook For Vets has been readying itself to tackle new challenges as we began preparing for our very first Saturday, monthly meal delivery. Volunteer sign ups were steadily coming in, so the time seemed ideal for us to join forces with the Virginia Department of Veteran Services to refer Veterans in need. With guidance, under the auspices of Galloway United Methodist Church and Pastor Page’s support, we decided it would be judicious to begin slow and steady to learn the process and understand how best to implement our service.
With five Veterans slated to receive meals, our nineteen volunteers in attendance on January 21, 2023, got busy preparing, cooking, and boxing up meals for delivery. Organizing, meal planning, shopping for grocery items, as well as setting up breakfast, lunch, and dinner stations the day before allows for a smooth and methodical flow for a final meal delivery. Healthy meals are a priority when planning out every menu.
The Saturday and Sunday dinner meals, provided in January, comprised hearty beef and macaroni with green beans, cornbread, and a homemade brownie for dessert. A hard-boiled egg, bagel with cream cheese, and fruit cup comprised Sunday breakfast. Lunch included a turkey and cheese sandwich, granola bar, and an apple. These meals are certainly satisfying and plentiful providing adequate nutrition for those dealing with food scarcity. As part of the service we provide, every meal delivery is accompanied by a bag of groceries for sustained nutrition. It took approximately two and a half hours to cook and box up meals without a hitch. Driving meals to the Veterans took an additional hour and a half.
The individuals referred to us in this delivery included two Vietnam Veterans, a single mom and her son, and two Veterans. Not to be overlooked was a military spouse whose husband passed away and we delivered a bag of groceries due to her limited income. It is no small feat bringing our meal delivery service to life. Our dedicated volunteers make it possible for us to do this amazing work and carry out our mission.