More and more veterans are being helped by a program providing them free food in Monroe County. But one group would like to make it more accessible to vets in the northern part of the county.

Every third Tuesday of the month, Chaplin Mike Oser of VFW Post 3448 in Mount Pocono makes sure veterans in his area have enough food on their tables. Oser learned about the Military Share program at the Gilbert West End Memorial American Legion Post 927 about five months ago.

Oser says, "I approached them and said what is this? And then I asked up at my post in Mount Pocono, is there anyone that really needs help like that and there was."

He picks up the packages of nonperishable food, fresh produce, milk, meat and eggs for seven servicemen and women that are either too proud to show up or physically can’t. But he’s looking for more veteran families up north in need so he can offer the program at his post.

Oser says, "20 or 25 needy veteran families up there our way, and again, they need to get over the stigma that they’re asking for help."

Currently around 55 veterans or their family members partake in the drive-through distribution in the West End. Battle Borne made it possible a little over a year ago when they learned food insecurity was an increasing issue at the Monroe County Veterans Affairs Office.

Battle Borne Founder Christopher Yarnell says, "It took us a few months to get it in place but through the help with Second Harvest Food Bank, the National Guard Family Readiness Program and Family Support Programs, we were able to come up with a collaborative effort to provide the Military Share food packages."

Marine Veteran Ken Heart utilizes the program each month and helps pack things up for others with his group Band of Brothers. He calls it a perk for serving our country.

Heart says, "My father’s, they were shunned when they returned from Vietnam and now veterans are respected. I think it’s a wonderful thing."

Others pulling in tell us the food really comes in handy during these difficult times.

Army Veteran Kathy Shiffer says, "It’s hard to afford anything now-a-days, you’ve got to watch what you spend. It’s not that you can just hey I want to go out to dinner tonight, you got to think twice about it if you want to do something like that. So I mean, you have to think twice about everything you want to buy."

If you’d like to register for the next distribution on July 16th at the Gilbert legion from 11am till 1pm, just contact Battle Borne, or the VFW Post 3448 in Mount Pocono.