National Farmers Union

National Farmers Union Hard at work for family farmers, ranchers, fishermen and their rural communities.
National Farmers Union was founded in 1902 in Point, Texas, to help the family farmer address profitability issues and monopolistic practices while America was courting the Industrial Revolution. Today NFU continues its original mission to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers and ranchers and their rural communities. We believe that consumers and producers can work together to promote a quality domestic supply of safe food. NFU represents farmers and ranchers in all states, with organized chapters in 32 states. The key to the success and credibility of the organization has been Farmers Union’s grassroots structure in which policy positions are initiated locally. The policy process includes the presentation of resolutions by individuals, followed by possible adoption of the resolutions at the local, state and national levels. Members and staff of the Farmers Union advocate these policy positions nationwide. National Farmers Union believes that good opportunities in production agriculture are the foundation of strong farm and ranch families, and strong farm and ranch families are the basis for thriving rural communities. Vibrant rural communities, in turn, are vital to the health, security and economic well-being of our entire national economy.
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Rural hospitals are critically underfunded. 120 have closed since 2010 and another 400 are at risk of closure.Yet the la...
05/27/2020
Wealthiest Hospitals Got Billions in Bailout for Struggling Health Providers

Rural hospitals are critically underfunded. 120 have closed since 2010 and another 400 are at risk of closure.

Yet the largest, wealthiest hospitals claimed billions in federal pandemic assistance, leaving little for rural facilities that need it most.

Twenty large chains received more than $5 billion in federal grants even while sitting on more than $100 billion in cash.

The pandemic has all but eliminated commercial markets for farmers. Though states have started reopening, many fear that...
05/26/2020
The pandemic could cause long-term damage to how we get our food

The pandemic has all but eliminated commercial markets for farmers. Though states have started reopening, many fear that those markets won’t return.

“Are people going to go back to cruise lines? Will they go to a restaurant that seats 100 people?“

From farmers who have been on family land for nearly 200 years to local restaurants, coronavirus could cause long-term damage to the food supply pipeline.

According to The Kansas City Star and Wichita Eagle, meat corporations pushed state officials to relax guidelines so tha...
05/22/2020
Kansas altered meatpacking guidance to let possibly exposed workers stay on the job

According to The Kansas City Star and Wichita Eagle, meat corporations pushed state officials to relax guidelines so that meatpacking workers potentially exposed to covid-19 could stay on the job.

No industry should have this kind of political influence. But because 4 companies control 85% of beef packing and 57% of pork packing, they have significant money and power, allowing them to largely avoid regulatory oversight.

One executive asked the state to speak to the meatpackers union about the “special responsibility” of its members to come to work.

Just 13 plants process 57% of our pork and beef. The pandemic has revealed that this kind of concentration is a huge vul...
05/21/2020
As COVID-19 Disrupts the Industrial Meat System, Independent Processors Have a Moment to Shine | Civil Eats

Just 13 plants process 57% of our pork and beef. The pandemic has revealed that this kind of concentration is a huge vulnerability.

But by supporting small and mid-sized processors, we can strengthen food security, protect workers and bolster regional economies.

Big Meat put most small slaughterhouses out of business. Those left are demonstrating their resilience, but their limited numbers point to the need for improved infrastructure.

The U.S. lost 119,694 small and mid-sized farms from 2012-2017. According to a new survey, nearly 1/3 of those who remai...
05/20/2020
The small-farmer boom will go bust. Dan Barber knows why.

The U.S. lost 119,694 small and mid-sized farms from 2012-2017. According to a new survey, nearly 1/3 of those who remain anticipate that they will be bankrupt by the end of the year.

"The results are alarming—catastrophic if we don’t do something."

According to a new survey, Covid-19 is "a generational catastrophe"—and without intervention, many will not survive through next spring.

Corporate consolidation might be the cause of our food crisis, but what’s the cure?Community food co-ops are stepping in...
05/19/2020
Community Food Co-ops Are Thriving During the Pandemic | Civil Eats

Corporate consolidation might be the cause of our food crisis, but what’s the cure?

Community food co-ops are stepping in to fill in the huge gaps left by the corporate food industry. These member-owned, community-minded businesses are flexible in a crisis - and should be the backbone of a diverse and resilient food system.

Compared to supermarkets with empty shelves and long lines, co-ops' long-term focus on building resilient foodsheds is paying off.

Consumers are paying 10% more for beef, but ranchers are earning 24% less for cattle.Who’s claiming the huge margin in b...
05/18/2020
Why Covid-19 plant shutdowns could make big meatpackers even more profitable

Consumers are paying 10% more for beef, but ranchers are earning 24% less for cattle.

Who’s claiming the huge margin in between? Meat packers.

“This isn’t the way supply and demand is supposed to work.”

For ranchers, workers, and retailers, the pandemic has been a crisis. For large meatpackers, it's been a rare opportunity.

05/15/2020
Scott Blubaugh - What’s Happening to America’s Food | The Daily Social Distancing Show

ICYMI: Oklahoma Farmers Union President Scott Blubaugh was on the Daily Show last night to discuss how corporate consolidation has contributed to our current food crisis.

"We need to bust up these large meat processors into smaller units - if we had more regional and small processors, we wouldn't be near as vulnerable to these type of events."

Oklahoma Farmers Union president Scott Blubaugh summarizes the state of America’s farming industry and how coronavirus is affecting the food supply. #DailySh...

The closure of meat plants is a serious problem for farmers and food security - but forcing plants to reopen without str...
05/14/2020
Keeping America's food supply strong starts with worker safety

The closure of meat plants is a serious problem for farmers and food security - but forcing plants to reopen without strong safeguards will only cause more closures in the future.

“Protecting our food supply begins and ends with protecting workers.”

Americans need strong and swift action from our country’s leaders to put safety first at these meatpacking plants. Truly protecting our food supply begins and ends with protecting our nation’s workers.

During these difficult times, Kansas Farmers Union member Donna Pearson McClish is working hard to feed her neighbors. S...
05/13/2020

During these difficult times, Kansas Farmers Union member Donna Pearson McClish is working hard to feed her neighbors. She operates a mobile market that brings local produce to seniors and low-income areas - communities that have been hit hard by the pandemic.

Read more about how Donna is serving her community in the first of our new Member Spotlight blog series: https://nfu.org/2020/05/13/member-spotlight-donna-pearson-mcclish/

“4 companies now process more than 80% of beef cattle in America, giving us a supply chain so brittle that the closure o...
05/13/2020
The Sickness in Our Food Supply

“4 companies now process more than 80% of beef cattle in America, giving us a supply chain so brittle that the closure of a single plant can cause havoc.

Imagine how different the story would be if there were still tens of thousands of farmers bringing their animals to hundreds of regional slaughterhouses. An outbreak at any one of them would barely disturb the system.”

The Covid-19 pandemic lays bare vulnerabilities and inequities that in normal times have gone undiscovered. Nowhere is this more evident than in the American food system.

Beef prices have risen with demand, yet ranchers are struggling to break even.Why? 4 companies control 85% of the beef m...
05/12/2020
11 attorneys general seek probe into meat packing industry

Beef prices have risen with demand, yet ranchers are struggling to break even.

Why? 4 companies control 85% of the beef market. With so little competition, those companies can collude to fix prices, paying farmers less while charging consumers more.

The attorneys general for 11 states urged the Justice Department on Tuesday to pursue a federal investigation into market concentration and potential price fixing by meatpackers in the cattle industry

Farmers are already at a higher risk of depression and suicide. Now, as the pandemic decimates agricultural markets and ...
05/11/2020
Economic blow of the coronavirus hits America’s already stressed farmers

Farmers are already at a higher risk of depression and suicide. Now, as the pandemic decimates agricultural markets and increases social isolation, many are concerned that the existing mental health crisis in farm country is about to get worse.

A lack of mental health resources in rural America makes finding help more complicated.

Meat plant workers are getting sick. Consumers are seeing higher prices and meat shortages. Without a market to sell liv...
05/08/2020
Joaquin Contente: Smaller Plants Are the Answer

Meat plant workers are getting sick. Consumers are seeing higher prices and meat shortages. Without a market to sell livestock into, farmers are hemorrhaging money.

The solution to all of these problems? More small- and medium-sized meat plants (and antitrust enforcement).

The closure of 90% of American meat plants over the last 50 years isn’t due to a lack of knowledge or a failure to reinvest in facilities – it’s due to decades of lax antitrust enforcement, says Joaquin Contente.

“The Beginning Farmer Institute was a life changing experience. Not only did it help me to be a better farm manager, but...
05/08/2020
Beginning Farmer Institute

“The Beginning Farmer Institute was a life changing experience. Not only did it help me to be a better farm manager, but also I made friends around the country who face similar issues.”

Apply for this FREE training program today!

Beginning Farmer Institute National Farmers Union’s Beginning Farmer Institute (BFI) is a free training programs for new producers of all ages and operation type/size. Participants attend thr…

Coronavirus outbreaks at meat plants are unquestionably bad news for workers.But it’s also a problem for the rural commu...
05/07/2020
Texas’ coronavirus hotspots are in rural counties, near big meat-processing plants

Coronavirus outbreaks at meat plants are unquestionably bad news for workers.

But it’s also a problem for the rural communities where plants are located. As the virus spreads, these areas are becoming hotspots, some with more per capita cases than New York City.

AUSTIN — Texas’ COVID-19 “hotspots,” at least as much as the disease’s spread has been detected, are in rural counties. Ranked by prevalence of confirmed...

"Our food system is failing consumers, workers, and farmers. Rather than propping up Big Ag—whose practices are failing ...
05/06/2020
OPINION: COVID-19 Stimulus Must Help Farmers Rebuild Our Broken Food System—Not Prop Up Big Ag - Modern Farmer

"Our food system is failing consumers, workers, and farmers.

Rather than propping up Big Ag—whose practices are failing us in this time of crisis—stimulus funds should build a new food system that is resilient, sustainable, and healthy for everyone."

There are no more lingering doubts—COVID-19 is a force to be reckoned with. In its might, it reveals enormous weaknesses in our food system. Whole supply

JBS,the world’s largest meat processor, brings in $50 billion every year. Yet they failed to implement basic safeguards ...
05/05/2020
‘The workers are being sacrificed’: As cases mounted, meatpacker JBS kept people on crowded factory floors | Food and Environment Reporting Network

JBS,the world’s largest meat processor, brings in $50 billion every year. Yet they failed to implement basic safeguards to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in their plants.

“They have so much money and so much knowledge. Why didn’t they help protect us?”

On her phone, Crystal Rodriguez keeps a photo of her father hooked up to a ventilator. Nurses at the hospital sent her the image after he’d spent close to a month in the intensive care unit at…

As of 12 pm ET today, the Small Business Administration is accepting Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications f...
05/04/2020
Disaster Loan Applications

As of 12 pm ET today, the Small Business Administration is accepting Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications from agricultural business ONLY.

Loans are offered on a first come, first-served basis and funding is expected to run out quickly - we encourage those who are interested to apply as soon as possible.

Find out how to apply for SBA Disaster loans

05/04/2020
Small, medium-sized farmers on edge while trade war bailout money goes to some surprising recipients

Rather than supporting small and mid-sized farms that needed it most, most of last year's trade aid went to the largest, wealthiest farms.

Many family farmers are worried that pandemic assistance will be handled similarly and they will be left out yet again.

Last night on 60 Minutes, South Dakota Farmers Union President Doug Sombke and North Dakota Farmers Union Vice President Bob Kuylen talked about why that would be bad for American agriculture and rural communities.

Coronavirus is another blow to farmers who have already seen their paychecks dwindle because of the trade war with China. Washington is providing multibillion-dollar bailouts for both crises, but is the money going to the right people? Lesley Stahl reports.

Why are meat plant workers getting sick?Why are farmers being forced to euthanize livestock?Why are there meat shortages...
05/01/2020
Op-ed: A Fairer, More Resilient Food System is Possible | Civil Eats

Why are meat plant workers getting sick?

Why are farmers being forced to euthanize livestock?

Why are there meat shortages at grocery stores?

The answer to all these questions is the same: corporate consolidation.

Read more about our current crisis and how we can fix it in NFU President Rob Larew's new op-ed.

The President of the National Farmers Union argues that strong anti-trust enforcement is needed to make a better life for workers, farmers, rural communities, and animals.

Oklahoma farmers Steve and Clay Pope have noticed significant weather shifts due to climate change. But they’ve implemen...
04/30/2020
From the Field: Soil Health Shields Oklahoma Farm from Changing Weather

Oklahoma farmers Steve and Clay Pope have noticed significant weather shifts due to climate change. But they’ve implemented practices to make their operation more resilient to greater extremes, all while cutting costs and boosting productivity.

“You’ve got to make a profit, and I think we are on the right track here...We are sustainable, and our land is going to be there. It’s a treasure.”

Editor’s note: This is the first in what will be an ongoing series that highlights the work farmers and ranchers are doing to adapt their land and operations to the effects of climate change. Apri…

“Concentration doesn’t just make our food system vulnerable to pandemics; it also makes it vulnerable to climate change,...
04/29/2020
What needs to change in America’s food system | Food and Environment Reporting Network

“Concentration doesn’t just make our food system vulnerable to pandemics; it also makes it vulnerable to climate change, pests and crop disease, and foodborne illness.

But the solution to all of these problems is the same: a more diverse food system.“

The novel coronavirus crisis has made it impossible to ignore the fundamental weaknesses of our system of food production and distribution — from a reliance on farm and restaurant workers who are…

President Trump signed an executive order to keep meat plants open, despite Coronavirus outbreaks.Meat processing facili...
04/29/2020
Executive Order Ignores Well-Being of Workers, Farmers Union Says

President Trump signed an executive order to keep meat plants open, despite Coronavirus outbreaks.

Meat processing facilities are critical for farmers’ livelihoods and national food security. But the health of meat plant workers is not an acceptable tradeoff for our food supply – we must find solutions that protect both.

April 28, 2020 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Hannah Packman, 202.554.1600 [email protected] Invoking the Defense Production Act, President Donald Trump today announced that he plans to sign an ex…

"The virus has really exposed the flaws of our food system, and how vulnerable it is.Farmers have plenty of food, but we...
04/27/2020
He owns a family farm in Oklahoma -- and still can't get milk when he wants it

"The virus has really exposed the flaws of our food system, and how vulnerable it is.

Farmers have plenty of food, but we don't have many small, regional processors. When workers get sick, these huge plants close down and we can't get the shelves restocked."

"United Shades of America" host W. Kamau Bell speaks candidly with farmer Scott Blubaugh of Tonkawa, Oklahoma, who describes how Covid-19 has put a glaring spotlight on what's wrong with the way our country handles food production and distribution.

04/24/2020
Monopoly Power in our Food System

The rise of monopolies in the agriculture sector is hurting independent farmers and destroying rural communities.

"If you are in the food business, the best scenario is that you have many customers and many suppliers. Because as soon as you have only a couple suppliers, then you're at their beck and call and they control you. As soon as you only have a couple customers, they control you and they set the price."

Enforcement of federal anti-trust laws has slackened in recent years, with very few meaningful investigations into mergers and acquisitions of large scale ag...

Before the pandemic, farm debt hit a record $425 billion. Since then, things have just gotten worse: supply chain disrup...
04/24/2020
Pandemic exposes inefficiencies in agriculture

Before the pandemic, farm debt hit a record $425 billion. Since then, things have just gotten worse: supply chain disruptions and demand shifts have pushed down commodity prices, and farmers are starting to lose off-farm jobs.

“It’s hard to see anything but a bloodbath coming in American agriculture.”

Despite $19 billion in aid, industry leaders see a bloodbath on the horizon for producers and distributors.

With businesses cutting back on sending mail, the U.S. Postal Service is on track to run out of money by September. For ...
04/23/2020
If the US Postal Service fails, rural America will suffer the most

With businesses cutting back on sending mail, the U.S. Postal Service is on track to run out of money by September. For rural communities that lack broadband and are too remote to be served by Fedex or UPS, USPS may be the only way to access medication or cast a ballot.

“USPS isn’t just a public service. It’s a lifeline.”

The USPS is "a lifeline" for many remote and Native communities.

Family farmers and ranchers are already experiencing the effects of climate change - but they are also working hard to a...
04/22/2020
Climate Change

Family farmers and ranchers are already experiencing the effects of climate change - but they are also working hard to adapt and react.

To support farmers' fight against climate change this Earth Day, NFU's new climate resource center provides educational resources, information about conservation programs, and guidance for advocating stronger climate policy.

Rising average temperatures, shifting precipitation patterns, changing growing seasons, increasingly frequent and severe weather events, and rising sea levels are making it more difficult to grow f…

Only ~50 plants are responsible for 98% of meat slaughtering and processing in the U.S.Several plants have closed due to...
04/21/2020
The Food Chain’s Weakest Link: Slaughterhouses

Only ~50 plants are responsible for 98% of meat slaughtering and processing in the U.S.

Several plants have closed due to COVID-19 outbreaks, backing up hog and beef production, crushing prices paid to farmers, and potentially causing months of meat shortages.

A relatively small number of plants process much of the beef and pork in the United States, and some of them have closed because workers are getting sick.

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20 F St NW, Ste 300
Washington D.C., DC
20001

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I'm glad to hear the SBA gave you farmers the loans. Seattle SBA stole money from me 2018. I attended a SBA small business incubator. They charged me money for it. Later, I found out the meeting was supposed to be free, as it had already been paid for by Washington State tax payers.
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I wanted to suggest a couple of things that may be of assistance, but not really sure how to start with it. Back in my day on Active Duty as a Marine, last century, there was a program called BENESUGS that you could submit beneficial suggestions to higher levels. So, here it goes. If possible please forward this along to the American Dairy Association, FDA or whomever it may be useful. On the news, the repeatedly show dairy farmers dumping thousands of gallons of milk because schools or other programs they provided to are not operating. The same thing goes with farmers, having crops rot or be thrown out unused. I would suggest that someone find a way to procure those products, even and a fair or reduced price (Reduced is better than the total loss they are taking by throwing it away). Milk can be evaporated, canned or put into baked good or food service products. Fruits and vegetables can be frozen, freeze dried or dehydrated for future use. With all of the homeless, hungry or food insecure we have in our own population. Plus that a huge portion of th population worldwide, it saddens me to see that someone hasn’t done anything to improve tossing it. I mentioned I was a Marine above, almost 12 years of active duty before medical discharge. We used to say that the Marines got the hand me downs from other services whose equipment was upgraded or newly issued. Then we would use those items effectively until they were used up. Upon entering communications in 1981 our main field radios had been used in Vietnam, They changed to a modernized version in the early 1990’s shortly before I was discharged. The Army had those radios in use about 2 years prior to our issue of them. An old phrase has stuck with me over the years, my kids, coworkers, neighbors, grandkids (you get the idea) have heard on probably too many occasions. ADAPT, IMPROVISE AND OVERCOME. If what you are doing is not working for you, apply this method. No matter the problem, this is the beginning of any solution. It is why Marines have won battles having suffered losses that would make them militarily ineffective. It is why Esprit de Corps and Semper Fidelis have been going strong for approaching 246 years. One of my last projects prior to medical discharge was to make 3 Command and Control Vehicles our of SUS-V’s (Small Unit Support Vehicle), which meant installing full communications equipment in an over the snow vehicles the Army had purchased from Norway for NATO operations for some $180,000.00 each. A few had trickled down to the MCMWTC Bridgeport, CA, where I was the radio chief and cold weather communications instructor. WE caked them BV-206 (BAND VAGON, the name NATO used, as they had rubberized tracks and a troop area in the rear section) The main problem as it turns out, was that NATO equipment ran on a 24 volt system and our Communications gear used 12 volts. So when connecting communications equipment it had a power overload as soon as it was turned on. The Army had melted a good many of these vehicles down to an expensive hot mess of fiberglass, and rubber. My orders allowed a 3 month period to get our 3 vehicles ready, the Army had been working on it for a couple of years. I am a High School graduate, with some community college, but a tremendous amount of common sense. I did my research, speaking with the Army experts at their cold weather training locations and even made a visit to Alaska with my technician to see first-hand what they were doing. On the trip, I turned to my comm tech who turned 21 on the trip and said “basically, we just need a converter to step the power down. Right?”. He agreed, at that time he was less than a year in his position and from becoming a Marine. When we got back to Bridgeport, my Repair Chief and technicians designed a converter. He and I drove down to Barstow, CA where they had a DRMO (Disposal Reutilization and Marketing Office) Depot. Basically, they take all obsolete equipment, gear with holes or whatever and sell it off as surplus as they can. We came back with a pickup truck full of old parts, cables, power boxes and miscellaneous items and built 3 converters. My vehicles were up and running in less than 2 months, and were still operation on the original converters when I spoke to the Communications Officers about 15 years after I got out. We each received a Navy Achievement Medal, and a check for less than $8.00 for submitting our idea to BENESUGS with designs for the convertor and parts valued at less than $100 if they had been purchased at the new price. My counterpart the, Chief Technician, made a small red light using a small bulb with wire extension to plug into the gear, encased in epoxy and poured into an ice cube tray. These were made to use when under black out conditions for training. As part of my communications instruction I used to show how to use MRE spoons to be used as insulators when making a field expedient antenna. I just wanted to illustrate, that big obstacles can sometimes be overcome with simple solutions. We as a nation need to find a way to overcome these new and unforeseen obstacles that seem to be coming one after the other. While outside of my volunteer time for my veteran groups, I have been on full VA disability for decades. We have to find a way to use and not waste. I just saw that another meat processing company is shutting down, so that would indicate to me as a layperson, that meat will become the new TP. I usually buy in volume at Sam’s Club for items like chicken and fish and then portion it out, vacuum seal and freeze it. I have previously gotten enough on one trip to last my wife and I about a month. However, we have four daughters, and three grandchildren in the local area. They are not nearly as prepared, nor have the ability to prepare as I have. Get your people together and come up with some ways to prevent the looming shortages that will only increase if they continue on the path they are on. I used to call a bitch and gripe session as needed. Rank was set aside and issue were aired. My only requirement was that if you have a complaint, I expect that you have a suggestion or two on how to fix it. We have a lot of issues. I have not complained about them. However, I have offered a few suggestions that I hope will be useful. Another might be this. At DRMO depots, there are a few nationwide there are gas mask, tents, NBC chemical suits we used to call MOPP gear that may be sitting there because of a small hole, worn spots or whatever that made them “unserviceable”. They may just need some minor repair to make them useable for medical personnel or first responders. There will also be Tents, cots, sheets, blankets and items in similar conditions that could easily be used to set up an area to provide cover for stations to do testing. There are still several bases or Reserve centers that have been closed that may be used for some purpose. I know we have one here in Greensboro, directly across from Moses Cone Hospital on Church Street. The Cone brothers donated the property to the government, and it now sits empty for almost 2 years. I contacted Washington offices to try and obtain it for use with my Disabled American Veteran, American Legion and Marine Corps League organization and was informed it was to be sold. It is still there and empty, more than 2 years later without even a FOR SALE sign in sight. I am certain this is not the only property in such status. Locally, we hold a Veteran’s Stand Down on an annual basis. The intent is to provide assistance to needy or homeless veterans. A sight is set up. It has been at a local church for several years now. Tents are borrowed and set up by the local Marine Reserve and/or other units. VA, Medical and Dental services are usually available. Transportation is provided to and from shelters, Salvation Army and other various locations. At least 2 hot meals are provided, showers and haircuts are available. Groups from county, state and federal agencies are there with information and assistance. Supplies, usually donated by local manufacturers or military surplus are handed out. Items like rain gear, blankets, sleeping bags, boots, socks, underwear. There is usually some clothing from local donations with shirts or pants (although these are very limited and low in number). Veteran organizations and local business send volunteers to help with feeding or supplying as needed. I have done everything from driving vets to and from, to handing out supplies, Helping with set up and tear down. Basically, I will do whatever is needed. Usually, you will see the same people year after year. My veteran organizations are well represented in events in the local community, but our efforts are primarily directed toward veterans However, aside from the portable grill station that the Marine Corps League sends around the state, to helping build Tiny Homes, or delivering mattresses and home goods to vets and others getting into a place from homelessness. We fill needs we see, or that are requested. Toys for Tots is another example. From standing by the box to ask for donations, to helping store and distribute them to families and organizations we work side by side with our local Marines. I got a little off topic, but wanted to point out a few things. When needed, good people step up to help. As veterans, service is kind of our thing, and it did not end when we took the uniform off. Historically, the local Marine Corps League and American Legion have met during peace time and gotten back on active duty for the next war, as they could. Someone needs to determine where the need is. Where the supplies can come from and others will show up to help get it done. We answer the call to action, even if the action would be transporting milk or vegetables so they can be used instead of wasted. I drove multiple vehicles while on active duty. I was a volunteer driver for DAV Chapter 20 for nearly 4 years (waiting on them to clear me after a heart attack last year). Getting many local veterans to and from their medical appointments. The DAV has a NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION NETWORK. Right now our vans are sitting unused as the VA is only seeing emergency cases So our Volunteer drivers take each one as the need arises. Prior to that we were driving to two locations a day, 5 days a week with as many as 9 riders at a time. It was not my intent to just point out what I have done to contribute over the years. There are thousands more like me, most doing much more, across the state and the nation. Someone needs to find a way to make use of it. We have post that are currently sitting empty due to social distancing. Most have monies gathered in fundraising to support local efforts, whatever they may be. Many of us have the time, will and desire to help, but do not have a starting point. ADAPT, IMPROVISE and OVERCOME. I do not have the contacts at this point, or even so much a Platoon of Marines at my disposal to set much in motion. I do have some old Marines and Disabled Veterans I am in contact with, but most, like me are already in the “AT RISK” category. However, I am sure we all would do whatever we could do to help the situation improve. I thought contacting your offices may be a good first start. It may be worth looking into. I hope the suggestion warrants some investigation and action. I am sending similar request to my local food banks, government representatives and whomever I can think of. Please feel free to do the same. If you, or anyone needs to contact me directly I am at: Michael R. Clark 1709 Ridgestone Lane Kernersville, NC 27284 [email protected]