VASNHS delivers food to veterans

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VASNHS Clinical Case Manager Andrea Scott picks up meals from Shared Village, a Las Vegas charity that provides food and housing for homeless and food-insecure, on May 14, 2020. HUD/VASH social workers have been delivering meals for as many as 30 veterans each week during the COVID-19 pandemic. (VA photograph)
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Food insecurity is a problem for many veterans across Nevada.

In Las Vegas, charities such as Three Square bring donations to food banks and community centers, where these individuals can come to get meals. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has made it difficult for many of these veterans to safely leave their homes, so VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System is helping.

Currently, eight case managers who assist veterans with housing as part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing program are delivering meals to vulnerable veterans.

“We have four teams in HUD/VASH that each go to Shared Village once a week,” said VASNHS clinical case manager Andrea Scott. “Our team works with Shared Village, lets them know what we need in the morning, they prep the boxes for us, and we come pick them up. We let the veterans know ahead of time that we are coming, and we practice social distancing by delivering the packages to their doorstep.”

VASNHS delivers meals to 25-30 Veterans each week. Each case manager maintains a caseload of veterans that they work with regularly, so they know which Veterans are unable to leave their homes.

“Some are unable to use public transportation, can’t stand at a food bank, or perhaps suffering from mental illness,” said Scott. “It varies on their acuity level and their needs. I have some Veterans that have physical issues that prevent them from leaving their home, and others are at a higher risk for coronavirus so we tell them to stay home and we bring the food to them.”

While the food delivery service is something that VASNHS HUD/VASH provided for many veterans even before the onset of the COVID pandemic, there has been a greater need over the past few months. It’s a rewarding effort for the case managers as well as the veterans. “I’m very happy that we are able to do this, and the veterans are very grateful,” said Scott. “It’s an awesome program.”
 
 
 

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