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Expanded food center opens to Cape Cod veterans

"We're increasing our capacity and our outreach, and that's leading to more clients and more need," says executive director Jim Seymour.

HYANNIS—As the Cape's veterans outreach center enters its 40th year of food distribution, the agency will open its upgraded center on Friday.

The new location, at 223 Stevens St., has tripled in size and can accommodate more fresh food as the center reaches more aging veterans experiencing food insecurity, which affects about 1.8 million adults in Massachusetts.

Demand is up significantly this year with the center serving 1,900 local veterans and their families, up from about 1,400 at the height of the COVID pandemic, said executive director Jim Seymour.

"In some cases, what it becomes is another opportunity for them to give back," Seymour, a Navy veteran, told CAI. "They might utilize some resources, whether it's a food pantry or another service, but then they come back and volunteer."

The 1,200-square-foot center sources food through the Greater Boston Food Bank and operates 13 food pantries on the Cape and Martha's Vineyard.

Seymour said the new facility will ensure that veterans can receive a steady, two-week supply of produce and other staples.

"Things are coming in continuously and going right back out the door as we grow our footprint in the arena of food-pantry services," he said. "We're increasing our capacity and our outreach, and that's leading to more clients and more need."

A dedication for the food-distribution center is scheduled for Friday, 2 p.m. Speakers include State Sen. Susan Moran, State Reps. Tim Whelan and Steven Xiarhos, and Veterans' Services Secretary Cheryl Lussier Poppe.

Patrick Flanary is a dad, journalist, and host of Morning Edition.