Giving Back

Buy a Vet a Burger at John's Meat Market in Scotch Plains Grows to Thousands of Meals

Scotch Plains Township officials stopped by John's Meat Market on Veteran's Day to thank Vinnie Losavio for his efforts to help vets overcoming difficulties. Credits: John Mooney
Buy a Vet a Burger has grown to include Thanksgiving and Christmas. Since the summer, customers of John's Meat Market have contributed $7,000 to help. Credits: John Mooney
Steve Hackenberg and Sharon Vopal volunteer to help homeless vets reclaim their lives. Credits: John Mooney

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- It started with a collection to help fund a barbecue at a veteran's facility and has grown to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. 

When Steve Hackenberg approached Vinnie Locavio of Scotch Plains' iconic John's Meat Market, he had no idea that customers of New Jersey's top butcher would eventually contribute $7,000 to purchase meals for veterans struggling to overcome addiction and other issues.

"I'm overwhelmed," said Steve Hackenberg, who volunteers for the Valley Brook Village, a community for homeless veterans at Lyons VA Hospital in Basking Ridge. 

Sign Up for E-News

Valley Brook, which was built with private equity money in a federal facility, has 95 apartments. Residents, formerly homeless veterans, have to rebuild their lives within two years (when they must leave). Many of them are overcoming alcohol and drug addiction and other issues.

"Our customers are so generous; I can't believe it," exclaimed Vinnie Losavio. "We're going to keep doing this."

The vets made a video to thank John's Meat Market for the support. Watch it here.



TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Investment Adviser Arrested for Stealing Millions from Clients

May 27, 2018

NEWARK, NJ – A former broker and investment adviser Gary Basralian, 70, of Springfield, New Jersey was arrested Wednesda, for allegedly stealing more than $2.1 million from two clients in order to pay for personal expenses, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Basralian is charged by complaint with two counts of wire fraud and one count of investment adviser fraud. He was ...

The Facts About Vaping

May 13, 2018

Dear Editor:

The recent public discussion about vaping and “Juuling” that occurred at our high school really opened the eyes of a lot of parents who may have been clueless about what their kids are doing to themselves. There is a lot of conflicting and confusing information available online, on YouTube and social media about the so-called benefits of vaping vs. smoking ...

Union County Celebrates National Trails Day with Free Guided Hikes and Activities, June 2

May 27, 2018

Union County, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders invites residents and visitors of all ages to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of National Trails Day at the Watchung Reservation on Saturday, June 2, where the County’s Trailside Nature & Science Center will host four different guided hikes and an Adopt-a-Trail volunteer activity along with special ...

Upcoming Events


Sun, May 27, 12:00 PM

The First Baptist Church of Westfield, Westfield

Free piano recital in downtown Westfield

Arts & Entertainment

Fri, June 1, 8:00 AM

Royce Brook Golf Club, Hillsborough Township

Liam's Room 5th Annual Charity Golf Outing

Giving Back Sports