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With Salute2Service, Vietnam War vet doing his part to fight food insecurity in Bucks County

Vietnam War vet doing his part to fight food insecurity in Bucks County
Vietnam War vet doing his part to fight food insecurity in Bucks County 01:55

BRISTOL TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) -- Back to school can be an especially difficult time for parents living paycheck to paycheck. On Tuesday night, more than 400 families turned out for a backpack giveaway in Bristol Township.

The event was organized by a local veteran who also hosts a weekly food pantry in Bucks County. The need is often closer than you may think.

"It's kind of masked in the fact that we are here in Bucks County," Rodney Wyatt of Salute2Service, said, "but I see it every day."

Wyatt is doing what he has done every Tuesday night for nearly eight years, getting ready to feed dozens of families at his weekly food pantry in Bristol Township.

"I see a look of desperation. This is what prompts me to do what I do here," Wyatt said.

The Vietnam War veteran, who enlisted in the Marines in 1972, has been serving others his entire life.

After retiring from the military and then a career in veteran aid, he founded the nonprofit Salute2Service to help bridge the gap. especially regarding food, quickly realizing it wasn't just service men and women struggling.

"There's a great need here," Wyatt said.

It's estimated that one in four families in Bucks County are food insecure, meaning they don't know where their next meal is coming from.

"We do our Wednesday food giveaways and we start at 11 o'clock," Wyatt said, "and we used to last up until 2 or 3 o'clock, but now, they come at 11. We're almost done by 12 because the line is so long."

Wyatt says over the past couple of years, he's drained his retirement to make sure no family goes hungry and is moving to a new site in Newtown to expand his reach.

He's now hoping others will also reach out to a neighbor in need so that one day, no family will have to worry.

"If everybody pitched in to help somebody else, we could eliminate a lot of hunger," Wyatt said. "I want to be put out of business. I'd like to be out of business because that 's when I know people are taken care of."

For more information on Salute2Service, click here.

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