National Guard troops lend helping hand with pop-up food distribution in Caroline County

Local News

CAROLINE COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Food banks across the country have seen the need for help skyrocket during the coronavirus pandemic. The Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank told 8News that its story is much the same.

On Wednesday, the food bank’s team had 35 extra sets of hands: men and women in uniform. A group of Virginia National Guard soldiers had their boots on the ground in Caroline County serving on a different kind of frontline.

With people’s car trunks open, a socially distant assembly line got to work and transformed a church parking lot into a pop-up food pantry.

First Lt. Cole Stevens said the guards are ready to serve however they’re needed.

“None of our schools were we trained on how to be operating a food bank in the middle of a global pandemic,” Stevens told 8News.

LaToya Brown with the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank said the demand for help is up. In just the last nine weeks, her team has distributed more than 368,000 pounds of food, helping put meals on the table for at least 5,100 families in the region.

Brown told 8News the soldiers assigned to help the food bank have made a big difference in helping the community.

“Whatever task we give them they do it efficiently, effectively and they do it with the proud sense of ‘I’m an American, we are all family, and we’re gonna get through this together,'” Brown said.

“We’re National Guard soldiers so the main mission set that we’re trained on is being adaptable and figuring out what is the mission that’s given to us and find out a way to accomplish that,” Stevens explained.

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