UTCH 2018

Uniting to Combat Hunger

Veterans Face Food Insecurity During COVID-19 Pandemic

For families already struggling to put food on the table, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a far-reaching impact on Americans across the country, ranging from job loss to food insecurity. Not being able to have access to enough nutritionally adequate foods to live an active and healthy life is something no one should have to worry about, including our nation’s service men and women.

Defined as a lack of consistent access to enough food for every person in a household to live an active, healthy life, food insecurity is a problem that may affect 1 in 8 people in America, and 25 percent of active-duty military and Reserve members have had to rely on food bank donations to feed their families. A recent survey from Blue Star Families identified that 14% of enlisted, active-duty household respondents reported facing difficulty putting food on the table in the previous year.

The VFW and Humana think this is completely unacceptable, and we need YOUR help supporting the "Uniting to Combat Hunger" (UTCH) campaign to fight food insecurity and strike a knock-out blow against hunger for good.

The pandemic and social-distancing guidelines have made it increasingly difficult to host food drives or fresh food harvesting gleanings, so this year we are teaming up with Feeding America®, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, to raise donations for local Feeding America member food banks. Every dollar donated to Feeding America helps provide at least 10 meals to people facing hunger! Donate today!

Despite making strides toward combatting food insecurity this year, the issue does not end with the start of a new year. The UTCH campaign is pushing strongly into 2022, and both the VFW and Humana remain dedicated to addressing the challenges surrounding food insecurity.

Your UTCH donation will be directed toward Feeding America affiliated food banks located near U.S. military bases and/or VA medical centers; the food banks will use the funds to support general operations.

 

Donate Today

*$1 helps provide at least 10 meals secured by Feeding America® on behalf of local member food banks. 1 million meal equivalent includes financial donations raised by UTCH 6/1/2021-12/31/2021 using national and local food bank meal equivalent calculations.

 

How Did UTCH Start?

Defined as the lack of access to enough nutritionally adequate foods to live an active, healthy life, food insecurity contributes to:

  • Serious health complications, especially when people facing hunger are forced to choose between spending money on food and medicine or medical care.
  • Damage to a child's ability to learn and grow.
  • Difficult decisions for seniors - often living on fixed incomes - such as choosing between paying for food and critical healthcare.

Food insecurity is a serious societal issue that may affect 1 in 8 people in America, and as many as 1 in 4 Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans. The VFW and our friends at Humana thought that this was unacceptable, and in 2018, established the "Uniting to Combat Hunger" campaign to raise awareness and help put an end to food insecurity across the country.

To date, the UTCH campaign has provided more than 2.5 million meals to those facing hunger and food insecurity. 

 

Additional Information and Resources

In 2020, UTCH donors and volunteers came together to blow our 500,000 meal goal out of the water. Despite a worldwide pandemic, we successfully helped provide over 1 million meals to VA food banks across the country. That incredible success encouraged us to up-the-ante and in 2021, we announced a campaign goal to provide 1,000,000 meals. As we look to announcing our goal for 2022 soon, we know the task of ending food insecurity it won’t be easy, but with the help of caring volunteers and donors, VFW and VFW Auxiliary members and Humana team members, it can be done. 

We’re asking for your help to make this dream a reality by viewing and sharing the applicable materials on this page. VFW Posts and Humana offices are highly encouraged to collaborate, and members of both organizations can sign up to host their own campaign here.

 

VFW's "Uniting to Combat Hunger" Matching Grant Program

PLEASE NOTE: We appreciate your interest in participating in the Uniting to Combat Hunger campaign. Unfortunately, the 2021 Uniting to Combat Hunger Grant application period has closed. The 2022 UTCH Grant will reopen in April 2022, so we encourage you to check back here for updates as they are made available.

When your VFW Post or Auxiliary raises money for UTCH, your Post may also qualify to receive funding through a UTCH Matching Grant! These grant funds can be used by your Post or Auxiliary wherever the need is greatest. Get more information or apply for a UTCH Grant here

We look forward to this challenge and serving those in need. For more information, please contact us at foundation@vfw.org

 

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