Food for Vets

Volunteers move boxes of meals to waiting vehicles in the parking lot of Gillette Stadium on March 31 as part of a distribution effort to aid veterans in need. The same group that headed that effort sent two truckloads of food Tuesday to Texans who have been hit hard by storms.

FOXBORO — Truckloads of food for Texans in need are heading south, prompted by a call from one Marine to another.

Massachusetts Military Support Foundation and its partners — including the New England Patriots Foundation and produce distributor Katsiroubas Bros. — are supplying pallets of shelf-stable foods for Texans following devastating winter storms that led to widespread power outages and now food shortages.

The initial plea came from Marine Ernesto Casus Jr. of Freeport, Texas, who sent a request to state Rep. Steven Xiarhos, R-Barnstable, an MMSF board member. Casuss has known Xiarhos for more than eight years through his own work with Gold Star families.

“A Marine has reached out to a fellow Marine for help,” Don Cox, president of MMSF and a Marine veteran himself, said. “I’m proud that Massachusetts and USA Military Support Foundations are able to answer this call and I am grateful to my incredible partners — New England Patriots Foundation and Katsiroubas Bros., for helping to make this possible.”

On Tuesday, two tractor-trailers of food were loaded for shipment to Texas at Foxboro Terminals on Route 1, where MMSF is headquartered.

According to reports, Texans are running low on food and finding empty grocery store shelves. Local food pantries across the state are running out of food and supplies as well. In addition, the freeze has wiped out substantial portions of the state’s citrus and vegetable crops.

The MMSF is a non-profit organization that provides programs, services and goods to help satisfy critical needs and enhance the well-being and quality of life for veterans and active-duty military and their families.

Tom Reilly can be reached at 508-236-0332 or treilly@thesunchronicle.com.

Follow him on Twitter @Tomreillynews

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