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Food Pantry Opens at Iowa Veterans Welcome CTR

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28)--Cedar Rapids now has three food pantries geared toward veterans in need.

The Iowa Veterans Welcome Center is officially operating a food bank at the Veterans Memorial Building. It opened up Tuesday.

It's about veterans helping veterans.

That's what the guys here at the Iowa Veterans Welcome Center stand for. Now they are taking that motto a step further.

Food is something everyone needs for survival, and after serving their country its also something veterans should never have to worry about.

"Sometimes it takes the VA a little while to start helping veterans, said Jay Kaiser, of the Iowa Veterans Center.

So the guys at the Iowa Veterans Welcome Center are taking matters into their own hands, opening a food pantry.

"I think its a wonderful idea that they've done here for the veterans, veteran Kenneth Gulick.

Veteran marine Kenneth Gulick is here to get food for his family.

He says resources like this is one of several things that makes Iowa a good place for veterans.

"Most the veterans have suffered a lot. Especially the war veterans. I think there's going to be a lot of thankful people around the area, he said.

Thankful for another option. Veterans here say this will help alleviate the effect of cutbacks to the supplemental nutrition assistance program or snap.

"As more veterans come back, there's more of a need for you know, jobs for them, food stuff and things like that, said Paul Hoin of the Iowa Veterans Welcome Center.

For these guys, the work isn't over. They are already applying for grants that will help put more food on these shelves.

They are also working to get veterans in need to come out, regardless of their situation.

"Don't feel embarrassed because we've all been there. We're all veterans who've had problems and we're here to help, said Kaiser.

The food pantry is open from nine to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays then 10 to noon on Saturday.

Donations are also welcomed at the center.
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