FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Veterans in need across Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri were given free boxes of food today by the VA.

The Veterans Healthcare System of the Ozarks gave away boxes with the ingredients necessary for a corned beef and cabbage dinner for four on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. The boxes were handed out on a first-come, first-served basis at the Fayetteville VA campus until all 200 boxes were gone.

April Eilers, a VA public affairs officer, said that spring can be a very challenging time for donations.

“Definitely, after the holidays, donations go down,” she said. “So we’re really excited to help our food-insecure veterans during the spring, which is the lowest time that people donate.”

According to the VA, studies have shown that addressing food insecurity at the point of healthcare is both efficient and effective for veterans.