Coronavirus: Ohio National Guard activated to help with food distribution

Gov. Mike DeWine has activated the Ohio National Guard to help with food distribution in the state, including Montgomery, Butler and Clark counties.

About 300 members have been activated.

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They will assist the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and Ohio Association of Foodbanks with transporting, packaging and distributing food.

Members from the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team headquartered in Columbus will help with food distribution in Montgomery, Clark, Butler, Allen, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Hocking, Lorain, Lucas, Mahoning and Summit counties.

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“Our state is tackling the public health issue caused by the outbreak of COVID-19. We have a responsibility to respond when our governor and fellow Ohioans need our assistance,” said Maj. Gen. John C. Harris Jr., Ohio adjutant general. “We have a long history of supporting the state and nation during times of emergency. Our Guard members are coming from counties across the state to serve their own communities, ensuring their neighbors continue to receive food and pantry items.”

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Members of the Ohio Military Reserve, which is part of the state’s defense force, will be placed on active duty to coordinate with the Ohio Association of Foodbanks at foodbank locations.

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“We welcome these National Guard members as part of our foodbank family and thank them for their dedication and diligence in the weeks ahead,” said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director for the Ohio Association of Foodbanks. “We encourage our clients and community members to join us in welcoming them with gratitude and friendship as they assist us in our important work.”

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