FOXBORO (CBS) — The Massachusetts effort to provide food for veterans hit an incredible milestone Monday: one million meals. While it’s a sad state of affairs that people who served the country need that kind of help, businesses, non-profits and a ton of volunteers are stepping up.
The Gillette Stadium parking lot has gone from tailgating to a daily, drive-through meals assembly line for veterans, organized by the Massachusetts Military Support Foundation.
“We’re going to hit a million meals today and we’ve done it in 20 days which is just incredible,” said Don Cox, president of the Foundation.
Veterans can pick up a box with enough meals to feed two people for two weeks.
“As long as they have served our country and helped us, they are welcome here to be able to get food,” said Donna Spigarola, head of the NE Patriots Community Relations.
“It’s something that I thought I’d never see that I would have to do, but it’s so good to see it. It’s awesome,” said William Smith, a veteran who came to Gillette Monday to get a box of meals.
The project is a collaboration with the New England Patriots, Ocean State Job Lot, and other supporters.
“It takes a partner like the New England Patriots and a guy like Robert Kraft to make sure you have what you need to get it done,” Cox said.
Getting it done is an understatement. They hope to provide five million meals by the end of the month, while the need continues to grow.
“Three weeks ago it was marginal. Last week it became critical,” said Cox. “The supplies they had in their house are running out so now the panic is starting to set in.”
To fill that gap, meal locations are being set up throughout New England powered by volunteers.
“When this is over you can look back and know you’ve made a difference,” said Steven Xiarhos from the Mass Military Support Foundation.
Since the need and the demand is so great, veterans are asked to make reservations to pick up meals and can do so on the Massachusetts Military Support Foundation’s website.