Share this story

UMass Medical School team volunteers at Veterans Inc Holiday Harvest

Community members provide Thanksgiving meals at annual event

  Chancellor Michael F. Collins shakes hands with a veteran at the Holiday Harvest event at Veterans Inc. on Nov. 20.

State Rep. James O'Day, Navy veteran Ted Baril and Chancellor Michael F. Collins at the Holiday Harvest event at Veterans Inc. on Nov. 20.

Chancellor Michael F. Collins and UMass Medical School staffers were on hand distributing Thanksgiving turkeys with all the trimmings to veterans and their families at the Veterans Inc. annual Holiday Harvest event on Tuesday, Nov. 20.

“It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to join so many volunteers providing food to veterans who have served our country so well and are in need at the holiday time,” said Chancellor Collins. “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. More than 800 turkeys were donated for distribution to approximately 500 households; those that remained after yesterday will be frozen for Christmas.

Veterans Inc. Chairman, President and CEO Vincent J. Perrone Jr. and Executive Director Denis Leary thanked the dozens of volunteers who honored veterans by helping distribute the donated dinners. IDEMIA served as the premier sponsor of the event.

“The Holiday Harvest has become an annual tradition, without which many veterans and their families would not be able to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal,” said Perrone, a retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. and co-founder of Veterans Inc. in 1990.

Headquartered in Massachusetts and now 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, Veterans Inc. has helped more than 80,000 veterans with job training and employment services, health and wellness programs, and supportive services ranging from transportation to legal advice. In 2017, the food pantry served 10,000 veterans and their families. Additionally, the organization served 100,000 hot meals and provided 280,000 boxed meals.