NC National Guard to assist Wilmington food bank thru mid-December

The U.S. National Guard and Bladen County Schools feed thousands of students during the pandemic on May 28, 2020. (Photo: WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — At the request of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the North Carolina National Guard has restarted COVID-19 relief operations supporting food banks and rapid testing for COVID-19.

This effort includes more than 170 personnel from both the North Carolina Army and Air National Guard.

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Guardsmen will remain on duty supporting food banks through Dec. 17, and on COVID-19 duty until Nov. 30.

“I want to thank the service men and women, who once again answered the call in times of need,” Maj. Gen. Todd Hunt, the adjutant general of North Carolina, said. “As Guardians of the State and Nation we remain vigilant and dedicated in this continued support to the citizens of North Carolina.”

About 125 service members will support nine food banks located across the state in Charlotte, Elizabeth City, Fayetteville, Greenville, New Bern, Raleigh (two locations), Wilmington, and Winston-Salem. NCNG will have about 50 personnel supporting COVID-19 testing teams in four counties — Guilford, Mecklenburg, New Hanover and Pitt counties.

“We are grateful for our National Guard colleagues for answering the call and their continued efforts to support NCDHHS and our response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. said. “The Guard’s dedication and assistance continues to be mission-critical in our efforts to ensure all North Carolinians are healthy and have the resources they need during this time.”

From March 6 to July 31, the NCNG had 940 service members on duty supporting the NCDHHS and DPS COVID-19 response. Their missions were PPE distribution, COVID-19 testing, food distribution, cyber support, and warehouse management and operations.

NCNG members helped Bladen County Schools feed thousands earlier this year.