When the pandemic hit, Ms. Martinez, a retired, pre-9/11 Army veteran and full-time grandmother of two teenagers, suddenly found herself without a job. Taking care of her grandchildren was always Ms. Martinez’s top priority, as was evident in the three jobs she worked to do so pre-pandemic, but now a different struggle had emerged. Though she remained strong for her grandchildren, she began to wonder how she would continue to put food on the table

Ms. Martinez recalls a day early on in the pandemic, when she told her grandsons to play a game building towers with crackers and peanut butter. This was her best attempt at distracting her grandsons from the fear and heartbreak she felt as she knew that peanut butter and crackers was all she had to offer them.

While Ms. Martinez utilized community resources such as her local food pantries, she knew that for two growing boys, this would not be a sustainable option. At a loss, Ms. Martinez came to COSF, where our Case Managers welcomed her with kindness and support.

Not long after, Ms. Martinez was provided with gift cards to her local grocery store, and was given help finding veteran employment opportunities to get her back on her feet. However, the support didn’t stop there. We continue to work with Ms. Martinez, and will not cease to provide her with the resources she needs until she feels comfortable on her own.

The pandemic was tough on all Americans, but the impacts it has had on the veteran community are even greater. COSF was there to ensure that the veteran community stayed safe, healthy, and cared for even when the world was at its lowest.

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