Post Sponsors February Food Drive for 'Feed Our Vets'

UTICA, Jan. 4, 2010 -- The American Legion’s Utica Post 229 is sponsoring a food drive the entire month of February to benefit Feed Our Veterans Food Pantry, Post Commander Tony Palladino announced.

Canned and other non-perishable food may be dropped off at collection boxes in the vestibule of the post at 409 Herkimer Road, Utica, from Feb. 1 to 28.

Feed Our Veterans provides food for hungry veterans who are struggling financially or who are homeless. The food pantry is located at the Utica Center for Development (formerly the YMCA) at 726 Washington St, Utica. (The building also houses the Central New York Veterans Outreach Center, a coffee shop, and "internet cafe" called The Bunker.)

Non-perishable food of all types is needed – such as canned fruit and veggies, pasta, cereal, and ready-to-eat meals. Also needed: can openers, pots and pans, dishes, ketchup, mustard, coffee, sugar, salt, pepper, plastic utensils, paper plates.

Hungry veterans may register at the food pantry to receive a week’s supply of food, once a month, by showing proof of service (such as a DD-214 or VA card) and a photo ID.

Palladino noted that Executive Director Richard Synek got the idea for Feed Our Veterans about three years ago after hearing some vets complain they could not afford to buy food because of limited income. “He heard them say they were going two or three days without food until their check arrived,” Palladino said. “That’s when Synek and his wife, Michele, started putting together food boxes for hungry vets, and thus, Feed Our Veterans was born.”

The effort has grown so much, he said, that they started a food pantry and now depend on donations of food and money to meet the need.

Feed Our Veterans has a website,

Feed Our Vets