Helping in times of tragedy is nothing new for the non-profit group known as Veterans Response. This group of military veterans has responded to natural disasters around the world. On Thursday they were providing needed assistance in their own community.
Veterans Response was in Meriden where they donated hundreds pounds of food and supplies to the New Opportunities food bank.
“Normally we respond to disasters but in this case, this is a crisis and we decided to take up arms and be part of the solution,” said Pablo Soto, an Army Veteran from Meriden who helped coordinate the efforts for Veterans Response.
As economic hardships continue for many around the state, the demand on food pantries has dramatically increased. According to New Opportunities, they had already served 40 families in need before Veterans Response arrived Thursday afternoon.
“Having this group come today, is just like, it’s a miracle,” said Dona Ditrio, the director of New Opportunities of Greater Meriden.
New Opportunities says they supplied 36,000 meals in March alone. Helping meet the need for April is a mission these veterans have accepted.
“You know we went to Puerto Rico. We went to North Carolina. We went to Bahamas and their needs. Now America needs it. Connecticut needs it,” said Danny Torres, a Veterans Response member who spent much of his career working with the Meriden Fire Department.
Thursday’s stop was the third this group of veterans has made. They’ve also donated in Middletown and Chester. Next up they’re raising funds to help in New Britain.
“We’re trying to do our part to try to help at least put food on somebody’s table,” said Veterans Response Executive Director Ray Guasp. “We want to make sure that kids have a meal. Adults have a meal. So, they can have some type of normal in their household.”