Executive Director’s Comments: November 2023

fvc newsletter thanksgiving table

Be thankful!

This month I found myself wading into a new area of agriculture for me … food insecurity.  In previous newsletters, I have mentioned the 24% food insecurity at our military bases around the country. With the support of Clif Bar Family Foundation and ADM, FVC has begun the planning stages for a pilot where our FVC community will have the opportunity to make an impact, while helping their own.

The first step was saying yes to an invitation to attend the “Together at the Table” Hunger and Poverty Summit at Baylor University here in Waco, Texas. I am still processing all that I learned from this broad-based group of collaborators.  Whereas the complexity of the problem is daunting, TOGETHER is the only way that this problem will be solved.

As the Farmer Veteran Coalition enters its 15th year, our programming is expanding, we are becoming involved with research, our grant work is increasing in complexity, and our network is deepening to include some new key partnerships and supporters. For this I am GRATEFUL and am truly looking forward to the work ahead in 2024. The needs of our members never cease, but great advances are occurring.

As this is November, many have wrapped up harvest and Thanksgiving, and hunting will soon start. No matter your situation, there are blessings to be had — look for them. Share what you can to serve your neighbors who are Veterans, homeless, elderly, and those who struggle with loneliness throughout the holidays.

Remember that we are all made to live in community. It is amazing what a little bit of your time and kind words will do to lift everyone’s spirits. Together at our tables, may we find peace as well as hope for all that the new year will bring.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone; please travel safely.

Jeanette Lombardo

I encourage our chapters to volunteer with our partners in the military community. Write Christmas cards for the local Veteran hospitals, assemble Christmas stockings for service members, collect toys for the Marines’ Toys for Tots drive, visit our military cemeteries and work with Wreaths Across America to adorn a Veterans gravesite.