SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday the deployment of the California National Guard to assist in the battle against COVID-19 by providing "short-term food security to isolated and vulnerable Californians.
The hopes are that the short deployment will help stabilize the immediate needs of food banks during this pandemic crisis.
"It’s in these times of crisis that Californians are at their best, coming to the aid of those in their community who are most in need. Food banks provide a critical lifeline for families, and are needed now more than ever. Families across our state are suddenly losing work, and millions of Californians most vulnerable to COVID-19 are staying home to protect their health and the health of others. I ask all Californians who are able to join our Neighbor-to-Neighbor campaign to safely assist those in need in your community," said a statement from the Governor's Office.
Many food banks are seeing a significant impact due to the coronavirus pandemic, with a large decline in volunteerism leading to a large impact on logistical and local infrastructure for food distribution.
"The California Guard will initially deploy personnel and logistical equipment to a food bank distribution warehouse in Sacramento County starting today, and will conduct immediate site assessments statewide for those counties that have requested short-term support and stabilization. This short-term assistance from the California National Guard allows time to mobilize AmeriCorps, California Conservation Corps and Local Conservation Corps members, and other volunteers where counties have identified serious gaps," said the statement from the Governor's Office.
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"The Administration’s food deployment strategy also launches the Neighbor-to-Neighbor campaign, which calls on neighbors to be first line of support for California’s most vulnerable residents who have been advised to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Neighbor-to-Neighbor campaign is focused on older adults and promotes ways to safely check on your neighbors, family and friends, and will be run by California Volunteers, the state office tasked with engaging Californians in service, volunteering and civic action," the statement continued.
"The Administration is partnering with the social networking service Nextdoor to provide valuable information to California communities about the state’s response to COVID-19. The collaboration will allow the state to reach more than 22,000 neighborhoods using the platform. Neighbors use Nextdoor to exchange helpful information and California Volunteers will use this site to share ways residents can safely check on each other during the COVID-19 outbreak. The platform will also be used to share ways to safely ensure community members have the basic necessities they may need during periods of home isolation."
Californians can learn about ways to assist their communities at https://californiavolunteers.ca.gov/get-involved/covid-19.