‘This Means a Lot': Pats, Military Group Feed Vets at NH Drive-Thru Event

Each box contained enough food to feed two people three meals a day for about two weeks

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The New England Patriots teamed up with Anheuser-Busch and the Massachusetts Military Foundation to provide free meals to veterans before Thanksgiving in Merrimack, New Hampshire, on Friday.

More than 500 veterans and their families attended the unique donation drive-through at a local Anheuser-Busch facility to pick up a free meal kit prepared by the Massachusetts Military Foundation and the Patriots. 

Each box contained enough food to feed two people three meals a day for about two weeks. 

“It does help, especially being retired and everything too,” said Kenneth Swenson, a veteran from Manchester, New Hampshire.

With Thanksgiving fast approaching and coronavirus cases on the rise, many families are debating whether to gather for the holiday, or how to do it safely. No matter what you decide, NBCLX storyteller Clark Fouraker has some tips for talking to your family about your plans, without starting a fight.

“I’ve come to the point where I have had to move in with my sister, so this means a lot to me,” said Madeline Whiteman, whose husband was an Army veteran. 

“To know that this is what they have, and to make their holidays a little better, it’s humbling and we’re happy to be a part of it,” said Gina Mengerson, an account executive with the Patriots.

This year, food drives like this are more than just making sure there’s a meal on the table.

The donations are helping our most vulnerable population avoid busy grocery stores amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“It gives us a few extra things so that we don’t have to run out and get things all the time,” said Dennis Slack, a veteran who made the trip from Rockport, Massachusetts.

It's an arms' worth of food, keeping our veterans home and healthy for the holidays. 

“I think it’s a wonderful idea and I’m very grateful for it,” Whiteman said with a smile.

There will be another veteran food drive event on Saturday at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.

What's on the menu may be different for Thanksgiving in 2020, one of many changes necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic.
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