Veterans Group Launches Mobile Food Pantry

HYANNIS – The Cape & Islands Veterans Outreach Center has launched a new mobile food pantry program while also working on how Cape Cod’s housing crisis is impacting local veterans.

Executive Director Jim Seymour said the group has identified the need for housing for veterans in the region, but is still working on figuring out solutions. 

Seymour said he met with some real estate agents about potentially locating sites for affordable housing for veterans but said the organization can’t compete with people in the housing market who are overbidding and making cash payments.

Like many others on the Cape, veterans are struggling to find places to live.

Seymour said that veterans often make good candidates for jobs in the area like police officers, firefighters, or schoolteachers, but outlined a major obstacle preventing them from being able to live and work on Cape Cod.

“The challenge is they can’t find a place to live that isn’t $3000 a month or $2500 a month plus utilities. That’s just out of reach for most of them,” Seymour said.

The organization recently launched a mobile food pantry for vets in need.

“This program that we’re rolling out is a strategic effort on behalf of the organization to touch other areas of our region that need our assistance, particularly in the Falmouth area,” he said.

The mobile program utilizes a refrigerated truck which transports healthy food products as well as nonperishable items to the Falmouth AmVets Post 70 at 336 Palmer Avenue. The program started this month and will continue from 10am to 1pm on the first and third Tuesdays of each month going forward.

Seymour said another new location for the mobile pantry starts Tuesday at 10 McKoy Road at the Eastham Elks Lodge from 10am to 1pm. It will return on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month.

Veterans should contact the group before arriving at the locations and bring proof of their veteran status.

The outreach organization is also planning to expand its mobile food pantry program onto the Vineyard next month and Seymour said they are hoping to announce details soon.

Seymour said the group’s regular food pantry program at 247 Stevens Street in Hyannis on Thursdays from 9am to 1pm is still ongoing.

With inflation and rising fuel costs, the executive director reported more people have been reaching out for support from the group’s emergency fund which helps veterans with paying certain bills.

For those looking to help, Seymour said folks can donate to the emergency fund or provide gift cards to stores like Kohl’s or Target for veterans seeking to purchase an outfit for a job interview.  

Cape veterans in need of assistance can contact CIVOC at 508-778-1590 or find out more at their website.

By Brian Engles, NewsCenter

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