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Ohio National Guard Continues Mission To Help State's Food Banks

In this March 24, 2020, file photo, members of The Ohio National Guard assist in repackaging emergency food boxes for food distribution at the Cleveland Food Bank in Cleveland.
Tony Dejak
/
Associated Press
In this March 24, 2020, file photo, members of The Ohio National Guard assist in repackaging emergency food boxes for food distribution at the Cleveland Food Bank in Cleveland.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio National Guard members have been helping food banks out with distribution. The Guard was supposed to end its mission this month, but now will continue to help in a reduced capacity.

The Ohio Association of Foodbanks’ Joree Novotny says it’s been hard for food banks since this pandemic, began because the older volunteers that the organization relies on haven’t been able to work.

Plus, she says the demand for services has increased.

“Food banks are doing a lot more of the large-scale response work to make sure that the significantly greater number of people who are struggling to put food on the table can access it," Novotny says.

The federal government is paying 75% of the cost for the National Guard to continue helping food banks with distribution through the end of this calendar year, with the other 25% of the cost coming from the state.

The Ohio National Guard began deploying to food banks in March.