Soldiers’ Angels hosts large food giveaway for veterans

By Jeff B. Flinn | Published on

One of the largest turnout of volunteers in the organization’s history helped Soldiers’ Angels distribute bags, boxes and crates of food to more than 200 military veterans during a monthly veteran mobile food pantry.

Chris Chun, Soldiers’ Angels vice president of programs, said the group holds six such distributions a month to provide 200-plus veterans and their families with food.

Veterans preregistered for the April 21 food pantry and lined up in the Cowboys Dance Hall parking lot, off Loop 410 near Windcrest. Dozens of volunteers staffed seven or eight stations where bagged food awaited the veterans, who drove forward and had the bags placed in their car or truck.

Clifford Bonesteel, a Universal City resident and a U.S. Army veteran, has been a Soldiers’ Angels food pantry recipient for the past three years.

“With what we get, it helps us plan meals for the month,” Bonesteel said. With the current inflation and increasing grocery store food prices, “It helps out, it really does.”

This month’s food offering included chicken chunks, peanut butter, sweet potatoes, onions, beets, applesauce, cereal white rice, carrots, milk, orange juice, bread and Girl Scouts cookies.

San Antonio resident Richard Irons, a U.S. Marine and Army veteran, said the food he received serves a dual purpose — he does not have to buy these items at the store, and that money saved can be spent on other things, like medical bills, utility payments, fuel or vehicle maintenance.

“It really helps because sometimes money’s really tight … and we get food here that you don’t have to spend money on,” Irons said. “It gives you a little bit of an upkick, being one less thing you have to worry about.”

Chun said he was told the April 21 volunteer turnout was the largest the organization had seen. Volunteers outnumbered the yellow striped safety vests handed out to those who show up to help distribute the food.

Once such group was the day’s participating sponsor, View Homes. Monty Reynolds, sales professional with View Homes, led a crew of 15 staff members who turned out to help.

“We purchased the food coming off the truck today. This is a really great thing for all the veterans in need,” Reynolds said.

Thursday’s event was Reynolds’ first time to assist Soldiers’ Angels with its mobile food pantry.

“I’m not sure if we’ve sponsored before, but we’re definitely going to be coming back.”

“We have corporate sponsors who pay for the food, so this is just an amazing event to not only show the veterans the support they get,” Chun said, “but to bring the community together so they can personally show support to our veterans, their veterans.

“We hear compliments all the time like, ‘Thank you very much for what you’re doing. Without this, my family would not have been to make it through the month without food,’” Chun added. “As a veteran myself, I know it’s the least we can do.”

To volunteer or sign up as a food pantry recipient, call Soldiers’ Angels at 210-629-0020 or visit its website at