This summer, members from the Louisiana nonprofit Bastion spent the week at God’s Love We Deliver learning about medically tailored meals and how we serve our intentional communities and clients here in New York. 

Bastion is the country’s first intentional community for veterans and their families. Located in New Orleans, Bastion creates a neighborhood for wounded, ill, or injured veterans to live alongside retired military and civilian volunteers. Bastion’s approach allows for returning warriors and their families with lifelong rehabilitative needs to regain independence while being supported and strengthening their resilience. 

Mental health conditions can impact a person’s nourishment as well as food security, and it is estimated that 30% of veterans living in NYC are food insecure. This year, God’s Love We Deliver expanded to include services for additional mental health diagnoses such as anxiety, major depression, bi-polar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia and/or substance use conditions. This program is called Connected: The Food and Nutrition Service for Individuals with a Mental Health and/or Substance Use Challenge. While God’s Love has long served individuals with a mental health condition as a co-morbidity, in addition to a diagnosis like HIV or cardiovascular disease, this marks the first time a mental health condition is the primary diagnostic focus.  

Bastion resident chefs Shantrise Sykes and Miss Silvia visited our Soho headquarters with resident Bastion social worker Lovella Calica. They saw how medically tailored meals can make a difference in the lives of all our clients, especially our clients who are veterans. After a tour of the facility, the Bastion group volunteered in the kitchen assembly lines packing meals and labeling bags.  

The Bastion trip was made possible by the Bob Woodruff Foundation and Craig Newmark. 

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