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Arizona National Guard making a difference in Yuma

Yuma Community Food Bank requested emergency aid from Arizona governor

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The Arizona National Guard is helping the Yuma Community Food Bank keep up with the needs of our community.

At a moments notice the men and women of the Arizona National Guard can be deployed anywhere they're needed. So in March when the coronavirus pandemic swept the nation, non-profits like the Yuma Community Food Bank were faced with a problem: the lack of volunteers. A problem they faced each year was now multiplied ten fold.

During the winter months non-profits in the Desert Southwest have a massive volunteer force at their disposal, winter visitors. In the summer that force is minimal and with the addition of a global pandemic, the food bank faced a nightmarish decision and turned to Governor Doug Ducey for help. As is their calling the National Guard was deployed to help with the shortage in volunteers. Soldiers who normally carried weapons, were carrying boxes of food to help people in need.

Although the food bank saw a lack of volunteers, one thing that wasn't stopping was the demand. According to Director of Operations Michelle Merkley, they've seen the demand nearly double. "It's been amazing, we couldn't do our job here without them. We've seen since this time last year we did about three million pounds of food, since March we've done over five million pounds of food and we can't do that without the help of the National Guard," Merkley said.

Merkley said that volunteers are still needed and asks that if anyone is up to giving their time to help it would go a long way to help those in need.

Making A Difference / Video / Yuma County

Joe Teposte

Award-Winning Photojournalist, News Professional Trainer, Production, Writer, 20+ Years in Yuma News.


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