National Guard to Assist Southeast Ohio Foodbank During Coronavirus Pandemic

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LOGAN, Ohio (WOUB) – Members of the Ohio National Guard are expected to arrive at the Southeast Ohio Foodbank on March 23 to help across the foodbank’s 10-county service area.

People may see military personnel and military vehicles in the 10 counties that the Southeast Ohio Foodbank serves: Hocking, Athens, Gallia, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Morgan, Perry, Vinton and Washington. The Southeast Ohio Foodbank is a program of Hocking Athens Perry Community Action (HAPCAP).

“We welcome these National Guard members as part of our foodbank family and thank them for their dedication and diligence in the weeks ahead,” Andrew Mayle, HAPCAP’s Food & Nutrition Director, said. “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.”

Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Adjutant General MG John C. Harris Jr. on Wednesday announced the deployment of Ohio National Guard members at the request of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, in collaboration with the Ohio Association of Foodbanks and its 12-member Feeding America foodbanks.

Around 300 National Guard members will be deployed across the 12 foodbank warehouses across the state, which provide food to Ohioans in all 88 counties.

The National Guard members will procure, sort, and pack food into bags and boxes; distribute that food through “no-touch” food distributions and deliveries; and support other logistical needs to protect public health and safety while maintaining foodbank operations.

“We have a long history of supporting the state and nation during times of emergency,” Maj. Gen. John C. Harris Jr., Ohio adjutant general, said. “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.”

The Southeast Ohio Foodbank has implemented several key changes to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by minimizing person-to-person contact. Staff members and network pantries are transitioning to “no-touch” food distribution using drive-through and delivery models, as well as transitioning to pre-packaged bags and boxes of food.

Foodbank staff members have also advised member pantries of the state on signature waivers procedures. Clients hold up a photo ID and give verbal permission for the volunteer to sign required forms on their behalf. The volunteer signs with their own signature or initials noting, “COVID-19 2020”.

With the evolving updates and changes, Foodbank staff members are committed to working with state resources to continue to feed at-risk residents in Southeast Ohio.

“As social distancing and quarantine measures continue to be ordered and implemented, Southeast Ohio Foodbank clients may not always have access to the local food pantry or soup kitchen where they would usually turn to for help,” Mayle said. “We remain committed to being here to help and serve as long as we are legally permitted to do so.”

The Foodbank is still receiving donations to serve children and senior citizens. Those wishing to contribute can visit

Those with questions or needing additional resources are asked to contact (740) 385-6813 or