The Ohio National Guard will soon have to end its pandemic-related missions, including its first assignment in the coronavirus crisis – helping Ohio’s 12 food banks with the huge job of getting food to increasing numbers of people who need it.
Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.
Packing, moving and distributing food was the first pandemic deployment for 500 members of the Ohio National Guard in March. But Ohio Association of Food Banks executive director Lisa Hamler-Fugitt says she got a letter from Adjutant General Major General John Harris Jr. this week.
“He notified us that the presidential declaration as well as the additional federal funding will be ending and we’ll be losing our Guardsmen and women on August 7.”
Food banks struggled with soaring need and a loss of corporate and senior citizen volunteers. Hamler-Fugitt says some volunteers have returned but food banks will turn to other community groups to keep food distributions going. The Guard’s role in COVID testing at pop-up sites and nursing homes will also end in August unless funding is extended.