‘Selfless service’: Ohio National Guard goes out while most shelter in


When Capt. Meyer joined the Ohio National Guard, she never expected to be helping the community through a silent danger

STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) – COVID-19 is impacting businesses and jobs across the Valley and as you can imagine, people are worried about how they will put food on the table.

Ohio’s National Guard has been stepping up to ease some of the worry for families with Second Harvest Food Bank.

“Quite honestly, it’s scary,” Captain Lauren Meyer said.

When Meyer joined the Ohio National Guard, she never expected to be fighting a silent danger.

“You think of tornadoes, or hurricanes or floods, things like that,” she said. “Never a virus. Never anything to this capacity.”

When Ohio Governor Mike DeWine declared a state of emergency for the coronavirus, Meyer and her fellow soldiers were put on active duty.

Part of that duty is distributing food.

At Struthers High School Friday, ten soldiers from northeast Ohio units filled 500 cars with food for families in need.

“It’s kind of wild what we’re going through, but we’re doing the best we can and I’m proud of every one of these guys behind me for stepping up and being here today,” Meyer said.

The food came from Second Harvest Food Bank. Becky Page, the director of development, said even with an increase in donations, Second Harvest is seeing triple the amount of people coming through the food lines.

“We are in a very uncertain time right now but the shelves at the food bank are still stocked.”

Struthers Superintendent Pete Pirone said they’ve been working all week to plan this mass food distribution.

“Our parents always said, ‘Put a roof over your head and food on the table.’ And if we can help put food on the table, then we feel like we’ve made a positive impact on our community.”

For the soliders, Meyer said it is their privilege to put on the uniform and serve the community when it’s in need.

“I can’t even explain the feeling and the sense of pride that you do get from this and helping out. It’s absolutely selfless. It’s selfless service.”

Another 120 families received food later in the day at Roosevelt Elementary in McDonald. More distributions will be announced in the coming week.

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