From one veteran to another, veterans committee chair R.J. Kelly worked through Santa Clarita Rotary to host a sustainable food packaging event for their Veterans Outreach Program on Thursday – an event intended to show love and appreciation for local veterans.
The sustainable food packaging event collected and packed 10,380 meals of rice, beans and pasta.
“I’m a Vietnam vet, and there are a lot of things that we didn’t get when we came back,” said Kelly. “We want to make sure the younger generation gets (what we didn’t have) and make sure that they know how to reach out and that we can reach out to them.”
Kelly estimates that in the Santa Clarita Valley there are approximately 14,000 veterans. Out of that number, 1,200 to 1,400 are in need of assistance.
Kelly said that through this program, all he hopes for is having the veterans in need know that they are loved, appreciated and thanked.
“It really builds their self-esteem,” said Kelly.
Volunteer organizations have each taken their portion of the meals to distribute themselves. Kelly and Santa Clarita Rotary have also taken some of the donated meals and will distribute them over the next few weeks.