During the height of the pandemic, members of Franklin Square’s Venturing Crew 2718 managed to provide nearly a dozen veterans with two meals a day for three days each week, and helped feed one veteran throughout the summer. But as people went back to work and children went back to school, the crew has received less and less money to buy these meals.
“Like any other fundraiser, it’s hot in the beginning and then dries out,” Crew Leader Charlie Grippaldi said, and the group’s “Operation Thank a Veteran” fundraiser ran out of money in the first week of September.
It was then that Rosario Trovato, a 98-year-old World War II veteran who also takes care of his 65-year-old mentally disbled daughter, personally called Grippaldi and told him how much he relied on that food from local delis such as Da Vinci Gourmet Market Deli, Tulip Caterers and Antonio’s Deli in Malverne.
Veterans’ home health services were cut in half during the pandemic, while elderly veterans were stuck at home, and Trovato did not want his home health care aides going shopping for him out of fear that they might catch the coronavirus and bring it home to him. But when he would go shopping himself, there would be nothing left on the shelves for him, he told Gina Centauro, co-founder of Rescuing Families, Inc. in April.
“The pandemic has been hard on all of us,” Centauro posted on Facebook at the time, “but especially the elderly population.”
So, when Trovato called Grippaldi and told him how important the food delivery service was, he said, he thought, “How do I not cook a meal for this guy?”
He then decided to restart the crew’s fundraising efforts. The Venturing Crew, a program sponsored by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2718. They started their efforts in April, when Nicholas Talamo, president of the crew asked his fellow troop members to donate $10 to buy food for disabled veterans.
“That’s what it’s all about,” Grippaldi said. “It’s about the vets, and helping people in need.”
To donate to the efforts, visit www.Crew2718.com.