Veterans, families can use veterans food pantry in Cedar Rapids - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Veterans, families can use veterans food pantry in Cedar Rapids

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - Nobody knows the struggles veterans and active service men and women face better than other veterans.

"If you need help, we're here," said Jake Kaiser, a Vietnam veteran and vice president of the Iowa Veterans Welcome Center.

At the center, veterans heard too many of their comrades were having problems getting food and a few months ago opened a food pantry. They have non-perishables, fresh produce and even clothing.

"We've helped people with a family of seven," said Kaiser. "We're here."

It's not just veterans who struggle.

A national report from Feeding America found a quarter of families with active-duty service members turn to food banks for help, and veterans say it's a shame.

"I wasn't married in the service," said Jerry Bower, Vietnam veteran. "I can't imagine what it would be like to have a wife and kids and to go overseas and not be able to support your wife and kids."

Founders say they're here to help any military family. Both the Welcome center and the food pantry are located on the lower level of the Veterans Memorial Building in Cedar Rapids.

Veterans say they know it can be tough to ask for help -- but they hope those who need it will push past that.

"Being a veteran, and being a disabled veteran now, I know what it's like to not ask for help," said Kaiser. "Don't. Come and ask. That's what we're here for."

The veterans food pantry is open in Cedar Rapids Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m.-noon and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-noon. You just need to bring proof of service.

To learn more, click here: http://iowaveteranswelcomecenter.org/
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