American Legion Bayonne Post 19’s annual coat and food drive will be held from November 1st thru November 30th. The Post is hoping to surpass last year’s number where over 400 coats were donated to Homeless Veterans and local school children. All coats and food can be dropped off at:
- American Legion Bayonne Post 19, 683 Broadway, Hours of operation Monday thru Friday 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM, Weekends 3:00 PM to 11:00 PM
- Bayonne Public Library 697 Avenue C
- Bayonne Community Bank –all Bayonne locations
- Elbaum’s 182 Broadway
- Senerchia’s Meat & Deli 762 Broadway
- Resnick’s Hardware – 800 Broadway
- Hudson Lanes- 1 Garfield Ave
- Giovanni’s Salumeria- 666 Broadway
Again this year we are assisting homeless Veterans and Veterans who can not afford coats for the winter thru the Hudson County VA Clinic in Jersey City, and Community Hope, the largest most comprehensive program for homeless Veterans in New Jersey. The Lyons Veterans Administration facility can accommodate 95 veterans.
The Post is also asking for children’s coats for the children in the Bayonne school system, some of whom may not have a coat to protect them during the coming winter months.
Another major issue facing service members is providing food assistance. A survey of military households found that many of these families were worried about having enough food to feed themselves or their families. As Veterans Day approaches it is critical to shine a light on this issue. Many of these military members have spent years getting up before the sun enduring grueling training and missions; some are deployed overseas for months on end, causing them to struggle to provide food for the families. There are a multitude of factors that contribute to food insecurity among service members and their families, including:
- Low salaries for enlisted members
- High rates of unemployment for military spouses due to the transitory nature of the military
- High cost of living around military bases
- High cost of child care
- The stigma that is often associated with needing assistance to provide for one’s family
Grocery prices are spiking and in some areas economic downturn has compounded the challenge of having enough to eat for far too many military families.
Active service men and women stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst have a genuine struggle to put food on their tables. The Food Warriors Program needs over 4000 pounds per week to keep up with the needs of these families stationed at the base. American Legion Bayonne Post 19 is working in coordination with the Food Warriors Program coordinator Mike Schaffer of American Legion Post 129, Toms River. As Mike stated, “No one is going hungry on my watch.” The Food Warriors Program started 18 months ago to help families of active service members stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. To date they have supplied over 100,000 pounds of food and over $40,000 in monetary donations to families in need stationed at the base.
Post 19 looks forward to another great event where support from the citizens of Bayonne, veterans and businesses far surpassed its goals and helped make last year’s coat drive and this year’s food drive a success where we were able to assist more of our homeless veterans and school children.
For more information, please feel free to contact Mike Wilson at American Legion Bayonne Post 19 at 201-858-9349.