W.Va. Guard sustaining support for food bank operations

By Maj. Holli Nelson | West Virginia National Guard Public Affairs | May 4, 2020


Since beginning operations in support of the state’s COVID-19 response 52 days ago, the WVNG has completed 821 missions through our six lines of effort of operationalizing of the event, stabilizing the population, providing logistical movement of critical supplies, innovation, state surge capacity and capability, and conducting data analysis to combat the virus. Currently, 701 members of the WVNG are on duty serving the citizens of the State of West Virginia.

“As the state moves into reopening over the coming weeks, our mission to take care of the most vulnerable populations – including our seniors, children and those facing food insecurities – has not diminished,” said Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, adjutant general of the WVNG. “Numerous resources are available for those in need, including the 211 resource hotline. We continue to work collaboratively with our volunteer organizations such as VOAD and our food banks to meet the growing demand, which has nearly tripled since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

In the last 24 hours, West Virginia Guardsmen and women assisted in delivering 2,205 meals to Pleasants, Ritchie, Barbour and Gilmer counties via refrigerated trailers. At both the Mountaineer Food Bank and the Facing Hunger Food Bank in Huntington, Guard personnel assisted in inventory and sanitizing the facilities to prepare for operations this week. At the Mountaineer Food Bank alone, the WVNG has provided support for the packaging and delivery of more than 1.7 million meals for families in 48 of West Virginia’s counties for the month of April.

Today, Task Force CRE is providing additional PPE training courses to the West Virginia Exceptional Youth Emergency Shelter and the Davis Children’s Shelther as well as area healthcare facilities and seven retail establishments in the state. To date, this team has trained 685 businesses, 3,552 personnel and 83 medical or long-term care facilities.

In addition to training, this team have also conducted 279 COVID-19 tests for lane support and 2,508 tests as a part of their response mission.

West Virginia Guard personnel assisting in sanitization lanes for first responder and public transport vehicles have sanitized 285 vehicles in two locations – Huntington and Charleston – which includes ambulances, police vehicles and public transport buses.

Task Force Sustainment, our team dedicated to receiving and moving critical supplies across the state, continues their mission this week of distributing PPE to various county emergency managers. To date, they have delivered more than one million items across West Virginia

West Virginia National Guard medical personnel augmenting DHHR’s regional epidemiology teams were able to support 30 voluntary COVID-19 mapping engagements. To date, the state’s seven regional epidemiology teams have conducted more than 5,060 voluntary COVID-19 mappings.

All current and future missions performed by the WVNG are a part of a coordinated state-level public health preparation and response effort for the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, initiated by Governor Jim Justice, and being led by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.