Chattanooga Vets Center goes the extra mile for veterans - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Chattanooga Vets Center goes the extra mile for veterans

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The Chattanooga Vets Center is taking some time to give back this holiday season. On a daily basis they help connect veterans with the services they need.

On Friday, they put some presents inside the pantries of veterans in need. 

As many families are already gathering to spend the holidays together, others are wondering where their next meal will come from.

Those families include veterans who have served our country.

Through the veteran’s affairs center, the people who are giving the help can relate to the people receiving it.

The program, Veterans Helping Veterans, allows veterans to give food boxes to other veterans in need of a little help this time of year.

“It's icebreaker we tear down the walls right now so they can say hey this is what I need,” said Kevin Baker, Outreach Technician.

Kevin Baker has been working for the Chattanooga Vets Center for four years and he says on a weekly basis he connects between 8,000 - 10,000 veterans with different services.

“Christmas is a really good time for the veterans because they seem to be struggling with finances food and taking care of children and family members,” said Kevin Baker, Outreach Technician.

The Chattanooga Vets Center canned food drive raised $20,000 worth of groceries that will give each family two boxes of food.

Baker says the vets helping vets program provided 42 veterans and families this year with enough food for the holidays.

“We have nonperishables plus the option of ham or turkey enough to feed them for the two weeks most kids are out from the 19th to the third,” said Kevin Baker, Outreach Technician.

About 95,000 veterans live below the poverty level nationwide, and most of those families with school aged children depend on the school system to provide their children with meals.

“We want to take that dilemma off so now they can go home for the two weeks and have three full course meals for the day,” said Kevin Baker, Outreach Technician.

According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, 9.7 million veterans use at least one VA benefit.

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