Chancellor Michael F. Collins spends a moment with retired Air Force airman, 3rd Class Thomas Mahoney.
Chancellor Michael F. Collins and UMass Medical School employees joined dozens of volunteers at Veterans Inc. in Worcester on Tuesday, Nov. 21, distributing full turkey dinners to hundreds of veterans. The Veterans Inc. Annual Holiday Harvest provides turkeys, stuffing, gravy, cranberries, assorted fresh produce and pies to more 500 veterans and their families in the region.
“It really is a special time of the year to be with folks who have given so much of themselves to our country,” Chancellor Collins said. “It’s an incredible privilege to have the opportunity to join so many volunteers and to thank our veterans who have served our country so well. We are always glad to bring a team from the medical school to participate.”
Veterans and their families used shopping carts to gather their Thanksgiving provisions, choosing from a large selection of traditional offerings. Nearly 800 turkeys were donated for distribution; those that remained after yesterday will be frozen for Christmas.
“We want to be sure that our veterans and their families have what they need every day and that they also have a special Thanksgiving. Our Holiday Harvest makes that special Thanksgiving possible,” said Veterans Inc. President and CEO Vincent J. Perrone, a retired lieutenant colonel of the U.S. Air Force.
Headquartered in Massachusetts and serving all six New England states, Veterans Inc. is the largest provider of support services to veterans and their families in New England. Since its founding in 1990, Veterans Inc. has helped more than 70,000 veterans in need with job training and employment services, health and wellness programs, and supportive services ranging from transportation to legal advice. In 2016, its food pantry served 9,000 veterans and their families. In addition, the organization served 100,000 hot meals and provided 270,000 boxed meals.
IDEMIA and TJX served as the premier sponsors of this year’s event.