Introducing Operation Nourish
As our country continues to navigate the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no doubt our social support network has been debilitated–evidenced by the lines of cars snaking for miles, with families waiting for hours to pick up food at pantries, schools, sports stadiums and more. Food insecurity statistics in America are staggering. Since the beginning of the pandemic, rates of household food insecurity have doubled and the rates of childhood food insecurity have quadrupled1.
And while communities where we serve are disproportionately impacted by hunger, COVID-19 has also led to sharp increases in loneliness, social isolation, and job insecurity, which takes a huge toll on mental health, affecting the veteran community in serious ways.
To address these challenges, today, we announce the launch of Operation Nourish. Operation Nourish is a nationwide initiative to generate the resources and awareness that prioritize veterans’ mental health by mobilizing them in service of combating food insecurity.
Like many other times of crisis in our country, veterans are answering the call. For the first time in our history, we’re mobilizing our highly trained national force of veterans, volunteers and community partners in service of one singular mission: to help fight hunger in communities across the country.
Continued service and peer support is a proven approach to mitigating the negative factors impacting mental health of veterans. Our work, as shown in the Empowered Veteran Index, is designed to offer exactly those kinds of service opportunities.
From distributing food to homebound seniors and hosting neighborhood cookouts, to assisting in distributing produce boxes through local food pantries and to fostering and planting seeds for community gardens, our platoons are pulling together, innovating, and adding much needed capacity to help feed our communities and to provide opportunities for veterans to continue serving.
And we need your help. You can join the fight to support veterans in three simple ways:
- Donate: Ensure veterans have the resources they need to complete their mission.
- Volunteer: Join a platoon near you—or online—to serve. Here are upcoming events that focus on meeting the needs of food insecurity.
- Spread the word: Share our call to action on your social media channels and include the hashtag: #OperationNourish.
Please join us in supporting Operation Nourish. The work we do in serving others and connecting veterans does more than fill bellies. It nourishes our heart and soul. It nourishes our purpose. It nourishes justice. At a time when people are examining how they can contribute to a higher cause, here is something we can all do to make the world a better place.
Mary Beth Bruggeman
President, The Mission Continues