Veterans Gain Help Fighting Food Insecurity
Craig Newmark Philanthropies will donate $3 million to the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) as part of a larger initiative to combat food insecurity in America among veterans.
The Bob Woodruff Foundation will be able to identify and support programs across the country that work to reduce food insecurity for veterans and their families. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Americans are experiencing financial strain and food insecurity, which has led to food banks facing a perpetual, diminishing food supply.
In the near-term to address this urgent need, BWF is providing stimulus funding to tackle hunger and food insecurity among the veteran population, while continuing to build a sustainable plan of action to support veterans and their families in the long-term.
"Veterans sacrifice so much through their service – when they come back home, it's simply not right that they have trouble getting enough to eat," said Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies, and member of the Bob Woodruff Foundation Board of Directors. "We want our veterans to know their fellow Americans have 'got your 6', to borrow a military expression. That's why I am investing in the Bob Woodruff Foundation's efforts to tackle this issue and help our military heroes and their families thrive through this pandemic and into the future."
As schools adapt to a virtual learning environment, many families who would have qualified for free or reduced school lunches are now feeding their children at home. Some estimates place the food insecurity rate among veterans at nearly twice that of the general US population. Even before the pandemic, higher rates of food insecurity were reported among certain high-risk veteran subgroups, including those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, female veterans, homeless and formerly homeless veterans, and veterans with serious mental illness.
"We knew food insecurity was a growing concern based on our research combined with insights from our grantees and Local Partners on the ground in communities across the country. Over a quarter of our 2020 grantees are already addressing this issue directly or indirectly," said Anne Marie Dougherty, Chief Executive Officer of the Bob Woodruff Foundation.”
Additionally, the Bob Woodruff Foundation is coordinating with the NYC Department of Veterans Services to make a donation of 400 frozen turkeys for a Thanksgiving-time distribution to veterans and their families experiencing food insecurity in the New York City area.