Serving a hot meal to those who have served in Luzerne County

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PLAINS TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Hundreds of free meals were handed out to veterans in our area Tuesday afternoon.

Organizers say it’s a way to fight food insecurity and say thank you to those who sacrificed so much for our freedom.

Serving those who’ve served our country with a hot meal. That’s what the non-profit “Fork Over Love” did drive-thru style at the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center.

“In my family, sharing food is an expression of love,” U.S. Navy veteran John Picone said.

500 meals were handed out to veterans and their families Tuesday at the medical center and five American Legion and VFW Posts in Luzerne County. Veterans like Picone enjoyed chef-made entrees including chicken parmesan, meatloaf, and a sweet cookie for dessert.

In addition to the delicious meals, each veteran received a special hand-written thank you note from the students at Wyoming Valley West Dana Street Elementary.

On a weekly basis, “Fork Over Love” purchases food from local restaurants and then distributes it throughout the community for free. For this drive, board members Ruth Corcoran and Bette Saxton came together to raise more than $5,000 on their birthdays.

“It’s very important to us for this whole dinner and that’s why we wanted to do this fundraiser because we both have veterans in our family,” Saxton said.

“Most of the meals are actually coming from the Overbrook Restaurant in Dallas and that is a veteran-owned business, which we were very happy about,” Corcoran said.

All to say “thank you” to the brave men and women who fought for our freedom.

“To have it come full-circle now, and everybody starting to learn to appreciate each other for who we are, I feel my service was worth it,” Picone said.

“Fork Over Love” was founded earlier this year to help struggling families and restaurants amid the pandemic. Since then, the non-profit has put more than 14,000 meals on local tables, and re-invested thousands into the local economy.

The weekly food drives are open to everyone. For information on the next one, head to forkoverlove.org.

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