TUSCALOOSA, AL. — Two local groups, along with Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6022 in Cottondale, will commemorate Veterans Day by giving back to the community and helping to feed those in need.
The West Alabama Food Bank and Harvest Outreach Ministry on Wednesday will partner at VFW Post 6022 for a food giveaway from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. with food boxes distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
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Pastor Hugh L. Spencer Sr. — a Gulf War combat veteran who served in the U.S. Army — was inspired to partner with the local VFW after doing a similar event in the past at the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center, where Harvest Outreach Ministry and the West Alabama Food Bank fed more than 300 veterans.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Spencer said the effort wouldn't be possible in its previous form due to restrictions on indoor gatherings and public health concerns. However, he said the VA connected him with VFW Post 6022 to help provide food to local veterans on a day held in their honor.
"I have a passion for veterans and I kind of see what they go through," he said. "I see what they go through, especially now when a lot of them are suffering."
All of the food boxes distributed will come from donations and the West Alabama Food Bank, but Spencer said they will also give out personal hygiene items.
"A lot of them are homeless and do not have food," Spencer said before mentioning the toiletries that will also be given out. "I know firsthand that they need it, and on Veterans Day, we just want to let them know how much we really appreciate them, not just in word, but in deed."
Post Commander Donnie Nelson also said those who want to lend a hand or log community service hours are welcome to volunteer.
VFW Post 6022 is located at 7001 University Boulevard East in Cottondale. Those wishing to donate to the effort can do so on Harvest Outreach Ministry's Cash App at $harvestoutreachal.