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McAllen20Food20Distribution webLocal Veterans Affair offices will be holding drive-thru food panties. On Thursday, January 18, there will be a drive-thru pantry at the McAllen VA Clinic from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. or while supplies last. The Clinic is located at 901 E. Hackberry Ave.

On Thursday, February 22, from 9 to 11 a.m., or while supplies last, there will be a drive-thru pantry at the Harlingen Health Care Clinic located at 2601 Veterans Drive

Veterans must be enrolled in health care at the VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System and present a valid VA identification card to confirm their Veteran status

Veterans are asked to remain in their vehicles while VA staff verify eligibility. After eligibility is established, volunteers will place the food items in the trunk of the Veteran’s vehicle

More than a million American Veterans are food insecure, according to a recent study by the RAND Corporation. Food insecurity—the inability to secure enough food to maintain health—can involve relying on cheap, unhealthy food. Adjusting for a range of characteristics, including age, the RAND report said Veteran status was associated with a 7.4% increased likelihood of living in a household with food insecurity, and a 9.2% increased likelihood of being very food insecure, which means regularly skipping meals

"Not having enough to eat can lead to physical and mental health conditions and increase a veteran’s risk of suicide. Our food pantries are one way we are tackling this very serious issue," said Public Affairs Officer Hugo Martinez. "If you're a Veteran in need, VA is here for you.

Studies have shown that addressing food insecurity at the point of (health) care is both efficient and effective. The VA Texas Valley Costal Bend Health Care System will continue its efforts to ensure that no Veteran goes hungry. In addition to health care, VA also provides education, employment, and housing assistance to Veterans in need

Veterans who are homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness are strongly encouraged to contact the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 877-4AID-VET (877-424-3838) for immediate assistance

For more information, follow the Texas Valley Costal Bend VA on Facebook.