UCLA's commitment to serving those who served goes back to the end of World War II when its very first medical students helped treat soldiers returning from war at the West Los Angeles VA hospital. That effort grew into one of UCLA's most robust academic partnerships, which today involves hundreds of students, trainees, and faculty in medicine, nursing, public health, law, and social work, which assist thousands of veterans each year.
UCLA is proud to continue its strong partnership with the West Los Angeles VA hospital and other organizations such as Village for Vets.
We are partnering with Village for Vets, a nonprofit organization. Village for Vets fills critical gaps in essential services for homeless and at-risk veterans in greater Los Angeles. Through programs providing meals, emergency grants, support for basic needs, social support, and links to additional services, Village for Vets helps ensure Los Angeles' homeless and at-risk veterans don't fall through the cracks.
There has been an increase in veterans seeking relative safety on the West Los Angeles VA campus. In honor of Veterans Day, National Veterans & Military Families Appreciation Month, and the upcoming holiday season, we invite you to join our campaign to feed these homeless Veterans.
With your donation of any amount, UCLA will be able to provide at least one hot meal a day to the Veterans outside of the VA hospital in Westwood.
UCLA's world-renowned Housing and Hospitality Dining Services was voted #1 best university dining in America in 2016 and 2017. Award-winning UCLA Dining Services is one of the most extensive self-operating university dining programs in the country. It is nationally recognized for its high-quality cuisine, state-of-the-art facilities, innovative services, and sustainable practices. As the largest department in H&H, more than 600 team members prepare and serve fresh, healthy, and delicious meals every day to students, faculty, staff, and visitors. They are serving more than 6.5 million meals per year. In addition, dining Services would be honored to prepare meals for our veterans in their time of need.
First, this partnership will reduce food insecurity and hunger among homeless veterans on the West LA VA campus with the potential for improved health outcomes, including reduced risk and improved control of diet-related chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Furthermore, food insecurity has been associated with poorer mental health and psychosocial stressors regardless of socio-economic status. Therefore, the provision of nutritious and delicious meals from H&H over an extended period has the potential to reduce food insecurity and promote the long-term mental and physical health and well-being of veterans.
The second benefit is improving employee satisfaction and retention through continued skills training in H&H. Operating the kitchen when students are not on campus will enable H&H to provide steady jobs and job training for its skilled, highly diverse dining workforce.
The third benefit of this partnership addresses the shared mission of the West LA VA, Village for Vets, and UCLA to encourage more homeless veterans in the Los Angeles metropolitan area to leave the streets and come to the relative safety of the West LA VA campus. The campus offers a safe space and the daily provision of resources and services focusing on veterans' physical and mental well-being. We believe the freshly-prepared meals can help serve this mission by enhancing the attractiveness of these on-campus residential and well-being programs and thereby attracting more veterans to the site.
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