Soldiers’ Angels: Serving Those Who’ve Served

The NTFB Feeding Network partner expanded its food distribution to Dallas this year.

Tinita Farley and her 5-year-old son are celebrating Veterans Day with a home-cooked meal and a slice of pie.

Thanks to food distributed this month by North Texas Food Bank partner Soldiers’ Angels, Tinita says she’ll have plenty of ingredients to work with in the coming weeks.

“This helps tremendously. I can go home and cook dinner tonight,” she says. “I just cooked the last of what I had last night.”

A veteran of the Navy who lives with PTSD following a deployment to Iraq, Tinita receives disability and says between that and the income she makes through side jobs, she simply doesn’t have enough to cover the high price of groceries and other living expenses right now.

Feeding America reports that one in nine working-age veterans live in food-insecure households and 1.2 million veterans use SNAP.

Just like the general population, veterans and their families are being impacted by inflation and the high cost of things like food and housing, says Brent Cooper, vice president of programs for Soldiers’ Angels, a Texas-based nonprofit that serves the military, veterans and their families throughout the U.S.

The organization started 20 years ago by sending care packages to deployed soldiers and now provides support through numerous programs. They began distributing food to veterans in San Antonio in 2015 and have since expanded to seven additional cities, with Dallas being the newest distribution site added this year.

Brent says while it can be tough to ask for support, they hear from veterans like Tinita that the food they receive each month is a lifeline.

“As a generalization, military people have pride and don’t want to ask for help—I’m a veteran and I struggle to ask for help and it’s my job to help people,” Cooper says. “But food costs are high and a lot of the feedback we receive is, ‘Thank you so much. Without your support, we would struggle to eat this month.’”

In Dallas, Soldiers’ Angels distributes food with the help of volunteers from the parking lot of Holy Cross Catholic Church. This month, along with food from the NTFB, they also were able to give veterans and their families turkeys thanks to a donation from Kroger.

Micah Kimball, a Navy veteran and father of three, said news of the food distribution came at just the right time as his hours at work have been cut back in recent months, leaving their budget stretched to the limit.

“This has just been a crazy blessing,” he says.

Veteran Michael Hancock agrees.

“It takes away from what I have to worry about, especially during the holiday season,” says Michael, who served in the Army for four years. “This is a blessing.”

Kathleen Petty is the communications manager for the North Texas Food Bank.