COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Governor DeWine will activate around 300 members of the Ohio National Guard to assist with humanitarian efforts supporting the response to the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis.
Governor DeWine said the Soldiers will support the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and the Ohio Association of Foodbanks at locations throughout Ohio. They will be assisting Ohioans during this health crisis by transporting, packaging, and distributing food to homes in vulnerable areas, community-based locations, and partner agencies in rural counties.
“The action I’ve taken to activate the Ohio National Guard will provide support to our food pantries that are low on staff and need help getting food to some of our most vulnerable citizens,” said Gov. DeWine. “By looking out for our neighbors and following proper health safety guidelines, we will make it through this together.”
Guard members from the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team headquartered in Columbus have been requested to assist local food distributions in Allen, Butler, Clark, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Hocking, Lorain, Lucas, Mahoning, Montgomery, and Summit counties, according to a news release from the state.
“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.”
Members of the Ohio Military Reserve, a component of the Ohio state defense force, will also be placed on state active duty to coordinate with the Ohio Association of Foodbanks at the food bank locations.