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Bloomingdale VFW and Church donate hundreds of dollars worth of food items each month to Joliet-area Veterans in need


August 23, 2022

Hines , IL — Each month, VFW Post 7539 and Trinity Lutheran Church have donated $400 worth of food and household items to Joliet VA Clinic’s micro food pantry to assist local Veterans in need.

“It’s what we do. If a Veteran needs help, who better to help them than a fellow Veteran?” said Joseph Palmer, Veterans Affairs Officer of VFW Post 7539.

VFW Post 7539 and Trinity Lutheran are both from the Bloomingdale-area, nearly 50 miles north of the Joliet VA Clinic. The group became aware of area Veterans’ needs through Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital, who oversees the Joliet facility.

Joliet VA Clinic sends a list of requested items to Palmer. The items are purchased online and shipped to the clinic for Veterans and their families, explained Tamorah Riney, licensed practical nurse and the clinic’s food pantry organizer.

VFW Post 7539 also regularly collects food items and donates them to the clinic in addition to its monthly orders.

“This month, I can’t keep the pantry stocked. There has been such a need,” said Riney. “Mr. Palmer is coming with additional food, and it will really help.”

The Joliet clinic’s micro food pantry began earlier this year to help Veterans and their families. Will County residents seeking food bank assistance grew 23 percent overall since July 2021, according to Elizabeth Thrun, coordinator of Hines VA’s food assistance network.

“It’s sad that we have Veterans with this need, but it’s great that we have this service and people willing to help,” said Riney.

According to Palmer, his organization projects it can continue monthly food deliveries for the next several years.

“We’re very fortunate enough to have donors who have been very supportive and allow us to continue to donate food,” said Palmer. “As long as they need food items, we’ll continue with it.”

The micro food pantry is located inside the clinic’s main lobby, at 1201 Eagle Street, Joliet, Illinois 60632. Community members are welcome to donate non-perishable food staples and household items to Joliet VA Clinic.

Donations are also accepted at Hines VA’s other outpatient clinics in Aurora, Hoffman Estates, La Salle, Kankakee, and Oak Lawn.

The micro food pantry is in addition to other food, employment, and housing assistance programs provided through the Joliet VA Clinic and Hines VA. Veterans can learn about available resources by calling 708-202-4961.

About Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital

Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital, located 12 miles west of downtown Chicago on a 147-acre campus, offers primary, extended and specialty care to veteran patients in the Chicago area. We are the largest VA in the state of Illinois, where more than a million veterans reside. The hospital treats more than 44,000 veterans from World War II through the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Media contacts

Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital Public Affairs Office


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