CHITTENANGO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Every year on Thanksgiving day, Clear Path for Veterans in Chittenango hosts a dinner for more than 300 veterans and their families. Because of COVID-19, that can’t happen this year.
The veterans look forward to the dinner each year to catch up with old friends or meet new ones.
“These veterans would normally not be able to have Thanksgiving due to financial constraints or other issues going on, so we welcome them into Clear Path,” said Alexander Behm, the Executive Director for Clear Path for Veterans.
It breaks the social isolation and introduces them to resources they may be missing out on. That’s why those at Clear Path knew they had to come up with a plan “B.”
All this week and next week, Clear Path staff are delivering more than 200 Thanksgiving meals to veteran families in 16 counties in our area. They’ll be getting a turkey, the fixings, and fresh vegetables from local farms, all donated this year. And while the meals are needed, the drop-offs will be serving another purpose, too.
“They haven’t been to Clear Path, and we want to make sure they know we’re still here, we’re still running our programs, and we still want to know that they’re okay,” Behm said.
Especially now, as veterans are feeling isolated during the pandemic.
“But at the same time, people help people. So, your neighbor may help you. Another veteran may help you, and that’s what really is showing across the board is, people are coming together to help one another,” said Robert Solano, a Peer Mentor at Clear Path for Veterans.
Plus, they’re still there to answer the call, no matter what. During business hours, call 315-687-3300.
The period for veterans to call in and request a Thanksgiving meal is closed. But, if you’re looking for food assistance, you’re encouraged to call the Food Bank of Central New York.