Vet First, Inc. stands at the forefront of social impact, pioneering a unique approach to enhance the wellbeing of U.S. Veterans and address food insecurity through organic and sustainable means. Established in 2020 amidst the challenges of the COVID pandemic, Vet First originated on a small farm in the picturesque Shenandoah Valley, VA, and has since blossomed into a dynamic force for positive change.
Our mission goes beyond conventional nonprofit endeavors. At the heart of Vet First is a commitment to empowering U.S. Veterans by providing meaningful employment opportunities. Through collaborative efforts with Veterans from diverse branches, including the USMC, Army, Navy, and USCG, we’ve cultivated over 7,000 pounds of fresh, organically grown produce.
Vet First takes pride in making a tangible impact on local communities. Every harvest is a step towards addressing food insecurity, as we passionately donate our bounty to local food banks. Now, with our second location in Williamsburg, VA, we continue to sow the seeds of compassion, sustainability, and support for our nation’s heroes. Join us in cultivating a brighter future for Veterans and fostering a sustainable, organic solution to hunger. Vet First, where purpose meets passion, and every seed planted is a promise kept.
Poverty Statistics (2020):
• Over 37 million people lived in poverty according to Census data.
Root Causes of Food Insecurity:
• Food insecurity is primarily an economic issue.
• Lower income stands as the most common cause of food insecurity.
Homelessness Among Veterans:
• Veterans constitute around 11% of adults experiencing homelessness.
Intersection of Homelessness and Substance Abuse:
• 70% of homeless Veterans also grapple with substance abuse.
Mental Health Challenges:
• 50% of Veterans live with mental illnesses such as PTSD.
Factors Contributing to Veteran Homelessness:
• Veterans are 50% more likely to become homeless than other Americans due to poverty, lack of support networks, and other factors.
• About 1.5 million Veterans are considered at-risk of homelessness.
Severe Rent Burden:
• Nearly half a million Veterans face severe rent burdens, paying over 50% of their income for rent.
Poverty and Housing Costs:
• More than half of Veterans with severe housing cost burdens fall below the poverty line.
• 43% of these Veterans receive food stamps for assistance.
Disability Compensation Challenges:
• Approximately 45% of the 1.6 million Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan seek disability compensation.
It’s time to turn awareness into action.
By actively promoting the employment of Veterans and supporting initiatives that address food insecurity, we can forge pathways to economic stability, resilience, and nourishment. Together, let’s build a future where Veterans not only find meaningful employment but also play a pivotal role in combating hunger, creating a stronger, more sustainable community for all.