Webb County to expand free meal program for veterans

LAREDO, TX (KGNS) - The brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country are fighting a different battle here at home.

Webb County is working to eliminate the number of veterans who go hungry by expanding a program that provides free meals.

It's difficult to imagine but it's a sad reality for many veterans who wake up every day asking themselves how they are going to pay for a hot meal.

Webb County wants to get rid of this problem with a solution by getting veterans to take advantage of "The Meals for Vets" Program.

Local veteran Miguel Angel Gomez Jr says after his service, there was a point in his life where he was left homeless and nowhere else to turn.

Gomez says that when veterans return, they come back broken and they lose faith in the whole system.

The local hero decided to turn to the Webb County Veterans Service Office for help who was able to provide Gomez with three meals a day.

Gomez says it’s because of this program and everyone’s help that he is still alive today.

The Meals for Veterans program has been on a trial basis for several months now, helping seven veterans. With the addition of funds and the help of Meals on Wheels, the county hopes to expand and help more.

David Garza, the coordinator for the Veterans Service Office, along with Precinct Two Commissioner Wawi Tijerina says the program is greatly in need in Webb County.

Tijerina says she wanted to bring this program to our area because she has seen several veterans who do not have a source of income, so a hot meal goes a long way.

During Monday's Commissioners Court meeting, an agreement was approved between the Meals for Vets Program and the Webb County Community Action Meals on Wheels Program.

Precinct two Commissioner Wawi Tijerina is looking forward to securing $50,000 of funding from the state so they can serve our brave men and women.

Meals for Vets targets veterans under the age of 60, since they're turned away from meal programs due to the older American Act.

Webb County has tested this initiative with seven veterans as part of a pilot program that began a few months ago.