Coronavirus: Foodbank expands hours due to need

Due to high demand brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, the Foodbank has expanded its April hours.

The Foodbank’s drive-through food pantry will be open from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. April 1 through April 3. The food bank will be closed on March 30 and 31.

“We’ve really seen an increased need for food with more people getting laid off and we are trying to make accessing food easier for those families,” said Lauren Truesdale, chief development officer for the Foodbank.

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The drive-through pantry is located at 56 Armor Place in Dayton.

Last week, Daytonians lined up on Germantown Street for nearly a mile to get food from the drive-through pantry.

There are about 400 Ohio National Guard and Ohio Military Reserve personnel assisting 12 food bank warehouses across the state, including the Foodbank. The National Guard members helped direct traffic, pack food boxes and load people’s cars in the drive-through all week.

Col. Daniel Shank, Ohio assistant adjutant general for Army, visited with soldiers of the Ohio Army National Guard on Friday.

“This is why these men and women joined,” Shank said. “This is a humanitarian assistance mission and we’re here to serve in whatever capacity is needed of us.”

Sgt. Andrew Lynch, who is in charge of the 25 soldiers on site at the Foodbank, said the National Guard is designed to serve communities during disasters.

MORE: Coronavirus: Hundreds in line at Foodbank as more people laid off

“In the last 20 years, people associate the uniform with missions overseas,” Lynch said. “But it’s good we can be out here to show we’re here to help in the community.”

Truesdale said having the soldiers at the Foodbank has been really helpful in controlling the long lines and ensuring everyone gets food.

“We don’t want people to wait like they did on Wednesday. We had a couple cars stall or overheat. And we hope spreading out the days will hopefully help that,” Truesdale said.

Truesdale said she also hopes that moving the drive-through hours earlier in the day will allow people who may have to work in the afternoons to be able to get food.

Because of the increased demand, families will only be served once every 30 days. Everyone must bring proof of identification or residence.

After April 10, the Foodbank will release drive-through hours weekly throughout the rest of the month. Truesdale said she would announce hours either the Thursday or Friday before.

Truesdale asked for those who are planning to go to the drive-through to not arrive earlier than 15 minutes prior to the start of the distribution.

Anyone who is in line by 1 p.m. will be served food.

RELATED: Coronavirus: Long lines at Foodbank as National Guard helps distribute food

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