ROSEBURG, Ore. — A program at the Roseburg VFW is helping local veterans put meat on their table this holiday season.
The program originally started in Winston in 1988 by helping a man that had some deer getting into his garden, and later moved up to Roseburg in 2008.

Since then, the men and women at the Roseburg VFW have helped nearly 3,200 veterans, their families, and some of the families in need in the area.

“We’re not a source for filling somebody’s freezer. We are here to help as many families as we can,” said program founder David West.

Local hunters provide some meat for the program, but the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife worked with them to connect the program with the Oregon State Police, who donate confiscated meat from illegal hunts.

“Instead of throwing the meat out, they’ll give it to different programs, and our program is one that benefits from it,” said West.

Those in need will then come to the VWF, ask about the meat program, and will usually get about two weeks worth of meat for them and their family for free.

“If you’ve got a family, especially a large family, we want to make it just as wonderful as we can this time of year. I’d like to get rid of as much as I can and hopefully get some more in,” said Roseburg VFW Quartermaster Michael Eakin.

Eakin said he and West hope their unique program will take off nation wide.

“This ought to be something that the nation, and all the VFW’s and American Legions, and all the service organizations throughout the nation need to look at what we’re doing and how we’re doing it, and say wow, that’s a pretty good idea. We need to latch on to this.”

If you’d like to donate meat from a hunt or would like to get some meat from the VFW for you and your family this holiday season, call the Roseburg VFW or give them a visit.