RSVP/Compass feed veterans

By Frank Lewis –

Original Story – PDT


Volunteers stand being food items collected for last year’s Operation Gratitude Food Drive

Volunteers stand being food items collected for last year’s Operation Gratitude Food Drive Submitted photo

Sometimes it goes unnoticed but if you look closely there are veterans in our area who are having a hard time making ends meet, which is why, for the third year in a row the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) has teamed up with Compass Community Health Center and other community partners to honor local veterans with the Operation Gratitude Food Drive.

Last year the effort resulted in grocery staples, including non perishables and fresh food being delivered to over 70 veterans with food insecurities, living in local communities.

“I started it because I felt like there was a need to help the veterans in Scioto County,” Libby Brisker of RSVP said. “There are so many who are struggling with their current finances and I just thought, having food would be a big help to them.”

Brisker thanked the volunteers who actually went to the veterans’ doors and delivered the food, along with a healthy dose of conversation.

“Thank you for your service comments and smiles,” Brisker said. “The partnerships are so important and include West Elementary Mrs. Jennifer Morgan’s fourth grade class and others, collecting cans and making posters to get the word out. Then, partners like the Red Cross, Scioto Valley Volunteers USD 1812, Potter’s House Food Pantry, Governor (John) Kasich’s Southeastern Ohio liaison Kathleen Young and others.”

Brisker said there is a way the public can contribute to the Operation Gratitude Food Drive.

“They can call me at 740-353-8810, and my office is at the Red Cross, 1801 Robinson Ave. in Portsmouth,” Brisker said. “Our goal is to feed 100 veterans this year.”

Over one in four veterans reported past-year food insecurity with 12 percent reporting very low food security. Food-insecure veterans tended to be younger, not married/partnered, living in households with more children, earning lower incomes, and had a lower final military pay grade.

“We are actively collecting cans and non perishable items now, for distribution on Veterans Day – Tuesday, Nov. 13. We will deliver to all 100 veterans on that day with the help from many volunteers,” Gina Collinsworth of Compass Community Health Center said.

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