London's WWII veterans battle new foe: hunger

A group of veterans who live at St. Joseph Health Care's Parkwood Institute have been meeting once a week to prepare sandwiches for the Men's Mission.

Parkwood Institute's 'Kindness Krew' makes sandwiches for the homeless

The 'Kindness Krew' is an initiative of the Veterans Care Program at the St. Joseph’s Health Care's Parkwood Institute. (Submitted by St. Joseph's Health Care)

Ninety-six-year-old Second World War veteran Bill Webb knows what it is to be hungry. 

"I've been through it all. I've had many, many hungry days," said Webb who is part of the Parkwood Institute Veterans Care Program in London, Ont., which is operated by St. Joseph's Health Care.

"My dad used to go to restaurants to get stale bread to give to the kids. That's what we had to eat," Webb said.

These days Webb and a number of other World War II veterans who live at the Parkwood Institute meet once a week to make more than 100 peanut butter and jam sandwiches, which are then handed out at the city's Men's Mission.

The veterans call themselves the 'Kindness Krew.' Each lunch package is labelled 'Made by Veterans at Parkwood Institute.'

"We know there are some people out there that need your help, so we're just happy to do it," said Webb.

95-year-old Arnold Mallet says working with the 'Kindness Krew' keeps him feeling young. (Submitted by St. Joseph's Health Care)

Another proud sandwich maker, 95-year-old Arnold Mallett, said the 'Kindness Krew' keeps him feeling young. "It also settles my mind because I liked to cook and bake in the past with my wife," Mallett said. 

"We just take a loaf of bread and we separate the slices and spread on the nice thick coat of peanut butter," he said. "And then we pass it on to the next fella and he puts the jam on nice and thick."

Ninety-five-year-old Arnold Mallet and 96-year-old Bill Webb are part of the St. Joseph's Health Care Veterans Care program and live at the Parkwood Institute. For the last year, they've been making sandwiches for the Men's Mission. 8:16

About the Author

Rebecca Zandbergen

Host, London Morning

Rebecca Zandbergen is from Ottawa and has worked for CBC Radio across the country for more than 15 years, including stops in Iqaluit, Halifax, Windsor and Kelowna.


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