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National Guard members help local food banks prepare for influx amid coroavirus outbreak

Learn how local foodbanks are gearing up as demand continues to increase.

CANTON, Ohio — As of Monday, National Guard members are working with local food banks to help fill a large gap. Kristin Warzocha, CEO of Greater Cleveland Food Bank says that gap is caused by coronavirus closures.

“The fact is that lots of corporate groups that volunteer and school groups that volunteer have been cancelling, so we saw that coming and more of that coming and we know we needed extra help. This will be an absolutely incredible resource for us in this time,” says Warzocha.

The guardsmen will spend the next 30 days making sure local food pantries are prepared.

“They will be helping pack emergency boxes in our warehouses, make boxes, make deliveries, help with agency pick up and other job duties that simply need to get done to make sure we’re continuing to provide all the food that our community needs right now,” says Warzocha.

The concern over the coronavirus is also changing the way some organizations distribute food. The North Canton Cares Pantry now has a drive through style food bank its President Jeff Dayton says is in high demand.

“Last week when we gave out our emergency pantry, we spent more money in three days than we typically spend in a month on food for our guests. All of our money goes directly to out guests. We have no overhead, no staff, no anything,” says Dayton.

Perhaps the best part, is that community volunteers are stepping up to help the North Canton Cares Pantry meet the challenge.

“More and more businesses have come on board to want to be a part of what we do. They see we want nothing in return other than to help people,” says Dayton.

The North Canton Cares Pantry services people living in the following zipodes: 44720, 44721, 44685, 44718, 44709, 44630 as well as military and veteran families.

Helping people, so we can all help each other get through this pandemic together.

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