From the very outset of Second Harvest’s response to the COVID-19 emergency, the support of the Louisiana National Guard has been essential.
Second Harvest Communications Director, Jay Vise, says the response by the guard was near-immediate.
“After we made the request, twenty Guard members were in our Jefferson Parish facility within 24 hours,” he said. “For most of the staff who didn’t know they were coming, it was an emotional moment. They’d all been working so hard and feeling overwhelmed, and to see these young men and women in uniform walk through our doors brought some tears.”
The Guard has been incredibly helpful with supporting all parts of the food bank’s response to this emergency. “They have been helping in the kitchen to prepare thousands of meals, packing and distributing emergency boxes, and in many other areas,” according to Lt. Amos Jenkins, who oversees the work of the 30 Guard members at the Second Harvest facility near Harahan.
Additional Guard members are serving at the Lafayette Second Harvest facility as well. Jenkins noted that most of the members of these National Guards units are from the local community.
“Most of them are about 22. They’ve never been through anything like this and many also saw their civilian jobs shut down because of the crisis. Every one has said how proud they are to be in a position to be able to help their hometown and region at this critical moment of need.”
Our thanks go out to these young heroes and for everything they and their fellow Guard members are doing for all of us.