“As Ohioans, now we have taken an oath to serve this nice state. Our Citizen-Troopers and Aeronautics are prepared to reply at any time when the governor asks them to assist our neighbors in any emergency. On this case, it was a pandemic that affected each nook of our state, ”mentioned Ohio Air Nationwide Guard Colonel Gregg Hesterman, commander of the joint activity drive that oversees COVID-19 missions. “Members of the Ohio Nationwide Guard convey a novel mixture of army and civilian expertise to any mission. Abilities like drawback fixing and flexibility that may result in a profitable final result, whether or not it is on a battlefield or in a meals financial institution. “
Members of the Nationwide Guard have been stationed at 14 totally different meals banks throughout the state, together with The Foodbank Inc. in Dayton.
“It is exhausting to place into phrases how useful having the Nationwide Guard with us has been,” mentioned Lee Lauren Truesdale, director of improvement for The Foodbank.
The Meals Financial institution expanded the companies it provided in the course of the pandemic to assist meet the dramatically elevated want within the Miami Valley. The Meals Financial institution additionally halved its workers in individual and stopped permitting volunteers to suppress the unfold of COVID. The 50 Nationwide Guard members assigned to The Foodbank helped fill the folks gaps.
To discoverCoronavirus: the necessity for native meals help doubles since February
“They have been with us by means of thick and skinny. They took the place of our workforce and volunteer drive, ”Truesdale mentioned. “They’ve been tremendously useful with our self-service pantries and mass meals distributions. Particularly with so many first-time meals help customers, it was good to have them directing site visitors in uniform … typically simply somebody in uniform makes folks really feel higher. “
Regionally, on the peak of the pandemic, the necessity for meals doubled. Lots of the folks within the lengthy traces at The Foodbank had by no means been meals insecure earlier than.
The meals financial institution now has about 5 guard members, Truesdale mentioned. The Nationwide Guard helped the meals financial institution pack containers, transport meals, and rather more. The Meals Financial institution plans to welcome volunteers in July after the Nationwide Guard leaves.
To discoverCoronavirus: Tons of of individuals lined up at Foodbank as extra folks lay off
The Ohio Meals Financial institution Affiliation submitted the Nationwide Guard utility to state leaders.
“We need to lengthen our deepest gratitude and appreciation on behalf of the Ohio Meals Banks and the thousands and thousands of Ohioans who acquired vital meals help on account of the exhausting work, help, and dedication of Nationwide Guard Troopers and Airmen. from Ohio who’ve served on this vital starvation aid mission. Frankly, we could not have offered the super response with out your management and help. We are going to always remember this reward of service, ”Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, government director of the Ohio Meals Financial institution Affiliation, mentioned in a information launch.
Members of the Adjutant Normal’s Division proceed to collaborate with different state companies on COVID-related missions, together with administering vaccines and processing Pandemic Unemployment Help claims.