COLORADO SPRINGS — The Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center giving free food to 800 families Friday as part of its 5th Annual Patriot Day Give Back Event.
While this event has previously been open for military and veteran families, this year it is open to any family who is in need. Food and other personal necessities were given in a drive-thru process.
In years past, the center has provided 400 families with food and that number has doubled this year.
The opening ceremony included speakers, such as U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner and state senators Pete Lee, Bob Gardner and Bob McLaughlin.
The opening ceremony recognized the give back partners and honored the Volunteer of the Year.
"I'm humbled to be perfectly honest," said Volunteer of the Year Tom Miller. "I didn't expect it, I don't do it for recognition. I like to think of myself like when I was in the service, as operating underneath the radar. That's what I still do."
"Veterans need help and this is about giving back to them, those in need," said U.S. Sen. Gardner. "This is about standing up for a community. And the support, the charity, the philanthropic effort that goes to this through Mt. Carmel's extraordinary volunteers is truly remarkable."
Mt. Carmel has helped more than 6,400 people in the Pikes Peak Region since opening in 2016.