Elected officials and veteran organizations are giving thanks this Thanksgiving by serving those who have served the country.
In Queens, Councilman Eric Ulrich, chair of the veterans committee, opened his doors to collect goods for a food drive for veterans that has been taking place citywide since Nov. 10.
The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #32, located in Whitestone, joined the councilman in helping those less fortunate who’ve served the country. They have donated hundreds of dollars’ worth of food to the drive and have done their own collection for veteran food pantries and kitchens.
“If you served our country in any shape or form and need help we want to do so,” said Paul Narson, president of the chapter.
All of the food that has been collected by the chapter will be given to Ulrich to then distribute as part of the food drive. Most of the food collected by the organization has been donated from its 252 members in Queens, said Narson.
Moreover, the chapter has also donated 16 turkeys to food pantries around Middle Village and Glendale.
It’s the least they can do for those brave men and women who sacrifice their lives to protect America’s freedom, noted Narson, who has been a member of the chapter for 25 years.
“We try to do all sorts of things for veterans,” he said. “We help out whenever we can.”
Close to 30 percent of New York City’s veterans and their families rely on emergency food to get by, according to the New York City Food Bank.