With 565 activated, La. National Guard assistance continues to grow, now at food banks
The Louisiana National Guard, as directed by Governor John Bel Edwards, has activated more than 565 Soldiers and Airmen so far, not to include full-time Guardsmen, to assist with the COVID-19 response, March 24. The number of Guardsmen activated and equipment utilized is anticipated to increase until the situation is stabilized.
One of the most recent missions of the LANG is to assist local food banks in preparing food boxes in Baton Rouge, Orleans and Jefferson Parish, Grant Parish, and central Louisiana.
“With a limited number of volunteers coming to our food bank to help, the Louisiana National Guard soldiers have been a tremendous resource and significant force multiplier to assist us in the preparation of boxes for distribution to support our normal operations, as well as the increased demand from Covid-19,” said Michael G. Manning, president and CEO of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.
The Louisiana National Guard has mobilized Guardsmen throughout the state to support current operations, including medical support, engineering assessment support, shelter security, traffic control point and drive-through testing site support, assistance at food banks, and to provide liaison officer teams to Parish Emergency Operations Centers.
In order to assist civil authorities, the LANG is ensuring the health and safety of its Soldiers and Airmen. The LANG is actively taking steps to support health protection in order to maintain mission readiness, such as: limiting non mission-specific travel, educating and enforcing strict CDC-recommended hygiene measures, and monitoring Guardsmen’s temperature readings and overall health on a daily basis.
Louisiana Army National Guard Soldiers with the 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team help package and distribute food to the local community at the Food Bank of Central Louisiana in Alexandria, La., March 24, 2020. Soldiers are assisting the food bank to ensure the supply of food for the needy is maintained and distributed during the increased demand due to the COVID-19 crisis. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Thea James)