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Providing for Veterans Year-Round

Marvin Ware, Navy veteran, leading a cooking class for veterans.

Marvin leading a cooking class for veterans at Hope Manor II.

When he was just 18 years old, Marvin Ware joined the Navy as a cook and spent the next 15 years preparing meals for 500 people every day. “Before that, I was cooking for seven younger brothers and sisters. I was born knowing how to cook,” said Ware, now 61.

Lauren Hightower, Client Support Service Coordinator at Hope Manor II where Marvin resides, recently began teaching a monthly cooking class using the food from the Food Depository boxes, which include shelf-stable foods, such as pasta or rice, canned vegetables and fruit, peanut butter, oatmeal or other cereal, dry milk and canned meat.

For Lauren, the cooking class is a small way of giving thanks to the veterans. “It feels good to give back,” she says.

Marvin is thankful for the food he receives from the Food Depository, and says the classes make him feel seen and cared for.

“I’m hoping that a lot of veterans get taken care of beside myself,” Marvin says. “We’re the backbone of this country. We help ensure that freedom is free.”

Currently, more than 12,000 veterans in Cook County live below the poverty line. Your support of the Food Depository helps provide food boxes to older veterans through the food pantry at Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital and local Standdown events.