Local man working to keep veterans fed when food distributions end

Local News

The government is ending a food distribution program that helped feed millions during the pandemic

NEW CASTLE, Pa. (WKBN) – Throughout this pandemic, millions of pounds of food went out to help hungry people in the Valley. The federal government set up the Farmers to Families food distribution program for emergency relief, but that program will begin to wind down at the end of this month.

With the Farmers to Families program, the government has been shipping boxes of fresh food across the country and anyone can come get a box. During the pandemic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture delivered nearly 170 million boxes to hungry Americans.

One of the largest food distributions in the Valley has been going on in New Castle. Last time we were there, they were planning to distribute 5,000 boxes of food — many of them specifically designed for veterans.

It had special distribution days for veterans and gave them their own line on general population food box days.

Hugh Coryea is concerned with what will happen to them after the program stops. He’s been working with different local VFWs, American Legions and other veterans groups to get food to hungry vets.

Coryea said he is still seeing a need of between 400 and 500 boxes of food for veterans in the Valley.

“I just got a call from the Lawrence County Veteran Affairs. They have some veterans in need for food…I’m going to be following on the veterans’ side of things with the Pittsburgh Food Bank and I have other organizations that are going to back me up.”

His goal has been to set up a system so any veteran within 50 miles could get a box of food through one of these groups.

“I have organizations financially backing the Vietnam Agent Orange veterans projects. We are already partnered with them, we are just setting up the insurance and we already have the site. We’re doing the New Life Church in New Wilmington, that will be our new hub,” Coryea said.

If you are a veteran and would like to get in touch with Coryea, you can do that through social media or email him at hcoryea@gmail.com.

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