Edina mayor, Jim Hovland, officially proclaimed August 25, 2016 Western National Day in celebration of Western National Insurance Group’s commitment to reducing barriers to healthy food and health care. “Western National has been a superb corporate citizen, well deserving of the recognition they are receiving for all the wonderful support they have given to VEAP over the years,” states Mayor Hovland. In addition to the new van, Western National employees donated 520 pounds of food to VEAP’s food pantry. Following the proclamation, volunteers and staff cheered and greeted the new van as it arrived at VEAP.
Western National Insurance Group commits to “Driving Away Hunger” each year with vehicle donations, financial and volunteer support. Western National Insurance Group has donated twelve vehicles to VEAP, reducing the transportation barrier to VEAP services for low-income individuals in Bloomington, Edina, Richfield and a portion of south Minneapolis.
With the use of donated Western National vans, VEAP volunteers transport limited-income seniors and individuals with disabilities to medical appointments, pharmacies, grocery stores and VEAP’s Food Pantry. Volunteers also provide rides home from VEAP’s Food Pantry, last year alone, totaling over 4,000 rides home. Additionally, volunteers use the vans to pick up farmers’ market produce and food from area grocery stores. Since 2010, 70 VEAP’s Transportation volunteers provided 27,990 rides with Western National vans, totaling 688,150 miles.