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Gov. Mike DeWine deploys Ohio National Guard during coronavirus crisis

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (seated) signs legislation forming the Ohio Cyber Reserve Oct. 25, 2019, at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio. (Sgt. 1st Class Chad Menegay/Ohio National Guard)

Gov. Mike DeWine has activated 300 members of the Ohio National Guard to help provide food to Ohioans in need, according to a release from Ohio’ adjutant general’s office.

Soldiers with the Columbus-based 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team will assist in transporting, packaging, and distributing food via foodbank warehouses in Cuyahoga County and 11 other counties, the release stated, in coordination with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and the Ohio Association of Foodbanks.

The National Guard members will assist with procuring, sorting, and packing food into bags and boxes, distributing that food through “no-touch” food distributions and deliveries, and helping with other logistical needs, according to a release from the Ohio Association of Foodbanks.

In addition, members of the Ohio Military Reserve will be placed on active duty to coordinate with the Ohio Association of Foodbanks at the food bank locations, according to the adjutant general release.

“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,” DeWine said in a statement. “By looking out for our neighbors and following proper health safety guidelines, we will make it through this together.”

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The Ohio National Guard was also called out in 2009 during the H1N1 influenza pandemic to distribute vaccines and medical supplies, according to the statement.

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