Labor union Food Drive for Veterans raises nearly 9,000 lbs. in donations

Local labor unions collected nearly 9,000 lbs. of food and supplies for veterans in need during a food drive at the free community Veterans Day celebration hosted by California's unions Nov. 11 at the OC Fair & Event Center.

Dubbed “Thanks a ton,” the food drive aimed to collect one ton (or 2,000 pounds) of donations for veterans in need. Thousands turned out at the free community celebration and helped to more than quadruple that goal, raising 8,957 lbs. of supplies.

Donations—including canned and instant foods, toiletries, and more—were weighed for free by Alex Moving & Storage in Santa Ana and will benefit Veterans First, a Santa Ana organization that feeds 175 homeless veterans daily, and the Orange County Food Bank.

"The sacrifices our veterans and their families make for our freedom are staggering, and so is the generosity demonstrated by so many this Veterans Day," said Jennifer Muir, Assistant General Manager of the Orange County Employees Association, which represents 18,000 local government workers. "Standing together, we accomplished something so much greater than ourselves. No veteran should ever have to worry about basic needs."

Our nation's food pantries currently serve 620,000 military families annually, according to the "Hunger in America” study. The Orange County Employees Association will continue collecting non-perishable food and supplies for local families in need throughout the year.

Union members also cleaned the USS Iowa and hosted service projects across the state as part of Veterans Day activities.

Sponsored by California unions, “Veterans + Labor – Partners in Service” aims to support and raise up veterans on three fronts: providing volunteer service, opening doors to good jobs and a special Veterans Day event to honor our heroes for their service. Far too often, our nation’s veterans don’t receive the support they’ve earned or the services they need when returning home. California’s labor unions are taking the lead to change that.