In June 2020, I was contacted by Sarah Sweeny from Military Friends Foundation who offered me a $1,00 COVID 19 Military Relief Fund grant to goes towards immediately assisting veterans and their families and families of Fallen Service Members to help those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The money from this grant is going to be use to deliver 300 BBQ Chicken Dinners to Veterans in the City of Haverhill. It’s important that we work together, come together and support one another. This project that quickly came together does just that. With the help and support from Military Friends Foundation, AMVets Post 147, VFW Lorraine Post 29, Veterans Northeast Outreach Center, Merrimack Valley Hope Mission, Disabled and Limbless Veterans, Winchester Knights of Columbus Council 210, Market Basket, Institution for Savings Bank in Newburyport, Senator Diana DiZiglio and her staff, Rep. Andy Vargas, Rep. Linda Dean Campbell, members of the Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, and several local business owners and members of the community we will be able provide support directly to the homes of our veterans.
These BBQ Chicken Dinners consist of BBQ Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing, Gravy, Corn, a side Salad, and dessert. These meals will be delivered in brand thermo bags that have been donated by Institution of Savings Bank. These bags will be also contain a face mask donated by Merrimack Valley Hope Mission and a small desk American flag. “We are proud to support Don Jarvis’ Haverhill community project which is mobilizing to support for veteran families through meal delivery. As we continue to combat COVID-19, it is imperative that we ensure food access isn’t a barrier for our most vulnerable and this project is bringing support literally to their front porch,” Sarah Sweeney, Army Wife and Executive Director of Military Friends Foundation. Military Friends Foundation 501c3 awarded a $1,000 COVID-19 Military Family Relief Fund grant towards this initiative. Military Friends has lead the charge across the state to aid military families impacted by the pandemic and has awarded over $100,000 in grants across Massachusetts in recent weeks. Veterans and families on Chapter 115, Veterans on HUD VASH, Veterans residing in transitional housing or a place that is not their own (to include veterans living in hotels) and also we included our Senior Veterans from WWII and Korean War).
With respect to COVID-19 proper protocols are being taken and plans are put in to place to ensure everything is executed safely. All volunteers are required to wear mask, and anyone handling anything related to food in the kitchen or loading the bags with the meals will be required to wear gloves at all times – NO EXEPCTATIONS!! All meals will be delivered through contactless deliveries meals the veterans have been notified of the delivery and was to wait for either a knock on the door, a ringing of a door bell, or a phone call if neither knocking or ringing isn’t an option. Drivers will be required to wear mask at all times as well. These protocols are in place to ensure the safety and well being for all veterans and volunteers.
“To all our veterans who have worn the cloth of our nation, we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. Your service, commitment and dedication to our country has not gone unnoticed. This meal is one of the many ways we want to show our veteran community that, we as a community truly appreciate everything you have done and that your service and sacrifices are very much appreciated.” Says Jarvis who is truly thankful for all the support from everyone who has stepped up to help make this happen on such a short notice. Jarvis adds, “Team work makes the dream work; Together Everyone Achieves More!!”