Feed Our Veterans: LEAGUE Postmaster Launches National Veterans Effort

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by Martha Lostrom

When Feed Our Veterans receives donations, Wal-Mart/Visa gift cards and local grocery store gift certificates are purchased. Depending on how many people a hungry veteran has in his or her family (spouse and children only), the goal is to give them enough to buy food for a week.

Veterans can request help through the website at www.feedourveterans.org, by calling (315) 525-9206 or writing to Feed Our Veterans, P.O. Box 1, New York Mills, NY 13417. Veteran verification is required: name, branch, rank, serial number and dates of service are required to get help. This information is not given to anyone or any corporation.

     

After verification, the information is deleted. “If you are not a needy veteran, do not ask for help—you will be taking away from veterans who desperately need this,” says Synek.

Rich Synek, a level 13 Postmaster in Vernon Center NY 13477 and a LEAGUE member since 2005, started Feed Our Veterans (FOV) in his post office about three years ago just after he became a Postmaster. “A customer who I know well and knew was a WWII vet, came in and said that he could only afford to buy one stamp. So, I asked about food on hand in his house. He reluctantly told me that he and his wife eat just crackers and butter or peanut butter about two to four days a month … no veggies, no canned goods, soup, milk or bread. That night, my wife, Michele, and I went grocery shopping and bought them about $100 worth of food. The look on their faces was one of relief.

“It’s hard for anyone to live on $900 a month, which is what they make between them. That started the project and it grew so much that we could not keep up with the demand—I had to form an organization. Without donations, I will be turning hungry vets away. I also recommend local food pantries to our hungry vets, but that is not enough,” Synek explains. “There are thousands of postal employees who are veterans and I would like to get the word out to them about
FOV. The rest of us Americans have to pick up the slack and fill in the cracks. We are free because of every veteran. The VA covers a wide range of services for our needy vets and, sometimes, it is just not enough. We also provide toiletries to our homeless vets.”

On April 3, 2009, Synek met with Kristy Park of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs (202-225-9782) and Anna Abram of the Congressional Committee on Veterans’ Affairs (202-224-2074) to discuss the plight of hungry veterans. Both Park and Abram can verify what FOV, a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt organization, is doing. danlauria

Dan Laria, left, the actor who played Jack Arnold on “The Wonder Years,” is a sponsor of Feed Our Veterans. Rich Synek, at right, founder of Feed Our Veterans, is Postmaster in Vernon Center NY 13477.

Rich Synek can be reached via email at  [email protected] or visit his website at www.feedourveterans.org for more information.

 

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