VA’s Veteran Canteen Service Helping Homeless Veterans
Free Meal Available at Medical Center Cafeterias to Eligible Veterans                  
WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs is reaching out to homeless Veterans by providing free meals and spending money to eligible homeless Veterans.   “VA is committed to ending homelessness for our Veterans who defended our nation,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “As part of that effort, I am pleased the Canteen Service has added these incentives that help Veterans get off the streets and into the care and housing they need.”                    
The free meals will be offered at Veterans Canteen Service (VCS) cafeterias to homeless Veterans attending their first VA medical appointment. New Veterans participating in the Housing and Urban Development and VA Supportive Housing program, who present signed leases will also receive a $20 coupon to be used in VCS retail stores located at every VA medical center.               
“A free meal and a few free items may not seem like much, but it can be a world of difference to a person getting back on their feet and seeking recovery and independence,” said VCS Director Marilyn Iverson. “I know all of our staff members are committed and we can literally bring something to the table when it comes to meeting the Secretary’s goal of ending Veteran homelessness for good.”                   
VCS also facilitates vendor donations to various homeless programs, including local VA stand downs and community organizations. VCS operates more than 170 retail stores and cafeterias at VA medical centers across the nation, providing competitively priced food and merchandise to VA patients, their families, caregivers, VA employees, volunteers and visitors.            
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