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 $500.00 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