FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
STEPHENVILLE, Texas — With grant funds from the Texas Veterans Commission and the efforts of several Tarleton State University departments, the new Meals for Vets program will provide eligible student veterans with a free hot meal daily on the Stephenville campus.
“Most veterans on campus are coming straight out of active duty,” said C.J. Armstrong, Veteran Service Specialist in the Office of Veteran Services at Tarleton. “They’ve probably done their four years and are living off their G.I. Bill, which is roughly $1,266 a month.
“They’re paying for housing and meals, and that can be kind of a financial strain. Providing one hot meal a day for free can take some of that stress off.”
Meals for Vets, a project of Honor Veterans Now, aims to eliminate hunger in vulnerable military veterans with a focus on those under 60 years of age living in Texas. While the Older Americans Act of 1965 provides funding for people 60 and over to receive meals, individuals under that age are turned away.
It is estimated that nearly two million veterans under 60 battle food insecurity and that 1.5 million veterans live in poverty. About 33 percent of the nation’s homeless population is composed of veterans. More than 700 veterans are enrolled at Tarleton.
After learning of the program at a conference, Armstrong contacted Tanner Smith, General Manager of Sodexo, which manages dining services at Tarleton.
“When the Office of Veteran Services approached us about implementing this program, we were eager to partner with them to fulfill the mission of eliminating hunger for military veterans at Tarleton,” Smith said.
To be eligible for the program, household income must be less than $2,220 a month. To apply, visit www.mealsforvets.org/help or come by the Office of Veteran Services in the Tarleton Center.
Tarleton, founding member of The Texas A&M University System, provides a student-focused, value-driven education marked by academic innovation and a dedication to transform today’s scholars into tomorrow’s leaders. It offers degree programs to more than 14,000 students at Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian, RELLIS Academic Alliance in Bryan, and online, emphasizing real-world learning experiences that address societal needs while maintaining its core values of tradition, integrity, civility, excellence, leadership and service.
Contact: Phil Riddle