March 31, 2020
This is not a "stick up" by a couple of "Banditos"
Vittles has rolled out a new initiative for our high risk veterans. Keeping them safe and healthy is our number one priority. At this time, our volunteers use a Vittles gift card to shop for and deliver groceries to our veterans in need.
April 4, 2020
Vittles founder, Bill McCann, brought smiles to faces, distributing much sought after toilet tissue to veterans enrolled in the program. The tissue was donated to the Vittles from a local charity in Radford. Just another example how this charity cares for our veteran community.
Chanel 10 News story
2019 American Red Cross Military Hero Award
Our 2019 Red Cross Military Hero is a Vietnam veteran now helping other vets with one of life's basics:food.
You could say Bill McCann is surrounded by veterans. When he is at home he helps his 95 year old father-in-law who fought in World War !!, pass time with a puzzle.
But when McCann's out and about he's most likely volunteering with his non profit VITTLES FOR VETS.
"What we do is we issue $50.00 food gift cards to veterans who qualify for the program and to qualify you must be other than dishonorably
discharged, you must be alcohol - and drug-free, and you must be living at or below federal guidelines for poverty," Mccann, the RED CROSS MILITARY HERO AWARD honoree, said.
Giving out these gift cards to veterans stemmed from a conversation with a homeless vet back in 2014. "I took him to lunch in the cafeteria at the VA, gave him a $50.00 gift card to a supermarket and this big guy grabbed my hand and started crying and that was the very second that VITTLES FOR VETS was born," McCann said. Vittles hands out weekly grocery gift cards to those in the program. McCann does keep an eye on what is bought. The veteran is required to mail back the grocery receipt back to ensure the card isn't used for alchohol, tobacco or junk foods. Besides meeting physical needs, McCann says the family of a veteran who died told him the program was so much more. "when I went to the wake and the funeral, his brother and sister came up to me at separate times and told me that Roger was in a deep state of depression and once he was accepted into the VITTLES FOR VETS program, emotionally he started to get better. He was just happy to be part of it and I never realized the emotional value Vittles has as well as the nutritional value."
Just like a puzzle, funding the non-profit takes patience and putting the pieces together one at a time. McCann hopes to grow this year to give 70 veterans gift cards on a weekly basis.
"These people should not be going hungry. We are the greatest country in the world, the richest country in the world, and we have starving veterans and children. I'm sorry, I figured on a grassroots basis I would try to do something"
April 8, 2020
Chanel 10 WSLS News did a story on the Vittles for Vets Program. Please check the story by clicking the photo below.
Our very own, Betty Ward Whiteman, used her talents to make these masks to help raise funds for the Vittles. As most of our ability to raise funds was put on hiatus because of the virus she was able to make these for a donation to the Vittles for Vets. She made over 220 masks in three weeks time.
May 8, 2020
This morning I received a “feel good” phone call from a veteran in Roanoke named Bill, who has been in the program one full year. He was issued a food gift card on April 9 which he has not yet used. He called me to explain to me that, due to the Corona virus the government increased his food stamp allowance from $16.00 per month up to $192.00 per month.
Bill told me he would hold the unused card until such time as the Corona threat is over and his food stamp allocation returns back to the $16.00 monthly, as felt “the right thing to do”, being that the new allowance of food stamps will satisfy his food requirements, would be to “hold off” on receiving new cards for the time being and issue his card to another veteran who is in need.”
This was a voluntary act on Bill’s part as I would have no knowledge of his food stamp increase. I share this as an example of the type of veteran we have enrolled in the program. Rather than accepting cards he did not need, Bill took the “MORAL high road and considered the plight of other veterans not as fortunate as himself. This is a wonderful example of honesty, empathy and caring on Bill’s part. “CUDO”S” to you Bill you are a man of true honor.
Please follow Vittles for Vets on F/B @ Vittles for Vets, Radford, VA
Vittles for Vets
Bill McCann, president/founder
July 4, 2020
Happy 4th of July to all, I pray you all enjoy yourselves and , above all, Stay safe. Well this weekend proved exciting for the Vittles for Vets charity as we were invited to TWO separate motorcycle events which allowed us to promote and raise funds for the veteran charity. A veritable "Motorcycle Double Header."
The first event, titled American Patriot Ride, was held on Friday, July 3, with all the bikers meeting up at Rural King in Wytheville, VA. Then proceed down to Marion Courthouse for the sole purpose of protecting Confederate statues from possible damage due to planned protest by a radical group. Fortunately all was quiet and peaceful. The surprise invitation to attend was received by me from Kim and Andy Pakacki. As few in their group had ever heard of the Vittles for Vets, they offered me a wonderful opportunity to explain the program, how it works and who it helps through speaking and passing out Vittles Mission Statements.
I do not have a final count on the "bikes" that attended as I lost count at sixty. It was an absolutely beautiful day and the bikers were, as bikers always are, friendly and engaging and very sympathetic towards the plight of the veterans we serve. How sympathetic to the cause you may ask, well the answer is they were $455.00 sympathetic to our veterans. The dollar amount equates to nine full weeks of food for a veteran. Kim, Andy I extend my heartfelt gratitude for including the Vittles in your event and helping us not only raise money but, spread the word of the fantastic work we do for our less fortunate veterans through the life-giving gift of food. God bless you both and all who rode with you yesterday.
The second event in this double header happened today July 4th named the "Vittles for Vets Motorcycle Run" was hosted by Alex Barker and assisted by his lovely wife Candi. The ride began at 10:30 am and ended at around 1:00 pm, leaving from and returning to the Pulaski Church of God . There were a total of twenty five motorcycles participating in the event, some riders I had just seen the day before at the American Pride Ride, others have attended every bike run put on for the Vittles in the past four years. Dave Salmons, owner/operator of PRS Towing in Radford followed the riders in a tow truck should some unfortunate biker need his service. Alex held a 50/50 raffle with the winner of the $87.50 prize generously donating it back to the charity.
All in all, Alex's fund raising event was quite successful as it raised a total of $685.00 for the charity which equates to 13 1/2 weeks in food gift cards for our veterans. A thank you "shout out" to Alex and Candi Barker for hosting the event, David Salmons for providing assistance should it have been needed, the Pulaski Church of God for allowing Alex to use their grounds as a staging area and last but not least , all the bikers that showed up in support of our charity.
Imagine, $1140.00 raised in two days through the energies, caring and generosity of all my new "biker" friends. Thank you on my behalf and on the behalf of the many veterans in serious need that you have assisted. Bill McCann- Vittles for Vets Pres/founder thank you newsletter July 4th, 2020.
September 14, 2020 Hanging Rock Golf Tournament
The golf tournament was a roaring success. The numbers are in and I must tell you this was the most successful fund raising in our six year history. We had 18 complete teams (72 players). Mother nature provided an absolutely gorgeous day, and a good time was had by all.
The total fundraising event awarded Vittles for Vets with $23,650.00 for our food program assisting veterans in need and their families. That dollar amount equates to 473 weeks of food which will be distributed in the form of $50.00 food gift cards to the 90 veterans enrolled in the program which will cover their food needs to just over a five week period.
A huge shout out to Mark Teer, director of the Roanoke Chapter of Vittles for Vets, and also Greg Fry who went above and beyond in not only promoting the event but was responsible for some very large donations and contributions to the event, including but not limited to securing a delicious boxed lunch donated to the event by Mr. Steve Dell of Wildwood Smokehouse. Greg told Mark and I that he wanted to insure that the golf event would have NO out of pocket expense for the Vittles and he called upon like minded patriots to insure that was the case.
To all who donated time, effort and donations, together with all who attended a heartfelt THANK YOU from the Vittles staff and the many veterans whose lives we touch in such a positive way.