An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article View
NEWS | Sept. 22, 2020

Michigan National Guard helps get food to those in need

By Master Sgt. David Kujawa Michigan National Guard

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – The Michigan National Guard is helping a charitable food distribution network complete its mission despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michigan Citizen-Soldiers and Citizen-Airmen spent part of August working at the Forgotten Harvest food bank in Royal Oak, helping sort, process and ship the 138,000 pounds of food the charity delivers to Detroit area charities six days per week.

The Michigan National Guard’s COVID-19 Joint Task Force consists of more than 100 Soldiers and Airmen, activated by the state to assist in efforts to respond, mitigate and control the COVID-19 pandemic throughout Michigan. The task force has worked at eight food warehouses across the state to ensure that charitable food operations continue without interruption.

“It feels good to be part of a team that is doing something to give people hope,” said Spc. Ralph Mitchell, one of nine Soldiers from the 1-182nd Field Artillery Regiment at the Olympia Armory in Detroit who were activated to support the COVID-19 JTF.

Mitchell graduated from his advanced individual training course as a M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) mechanic in May. The mobilization for the COVID-19 JTF is the first of his military career.

“It feels good to be part of a team that is doing something to give people hope,” he said. “I enlisted to do more in my community and serve my country.”

Like most members of the National Guard, Mitchell is a member of the community – his civilian job is as an employee of Ford – who serves part-time in the Guard, ready to be called as needed. He was activated for the COVID-19 JTF in August.

“Mitchell is a motivated troop. His work ethic is equally impressive on both the COVID-19 JTF and in the battalion,” said Sgt. 1st Class Darwin Brooks, a battalion master gunner in the 1-182nd and Mitchell’s supervisor. “He shows great leadership potential and is eager to put in a full day’s work because he knows it’s helping people.”

Tyrone McClendon, a supervisor at Forgotten Harvest, said the Guard personnel who worked at the warehouse made a big difference. “They amazed me with their output,” he said. “Not only have they nearly doubled our numbers, but they do a great job at cleaning up before leaving each day.”

Mitchell said working in a food warehouse wasn’t what he expected to be doing when he enlisted in the Michigan National Guard but he is glad he’s had the opportunity to contribute.

“Coming into the warehouse each day in uniform and representing the Michigan National Guard is a rewarding experience. The employees at Forgotten Harvest show us tremendous gratitude and respect. I am thankful to have the opportunity to deploy for such a worthy cause,” Mitchell said.

 

 

Related Articles
The Virginia Army National Guard Funeral Honors Program hosts 11 Army National Guard Soldiers from nine states and territories for a level 2 funeral honors training course March 5, 2024, at the State Military Reservation in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Soldiers from Virginia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Wisconsin participated in the two week-long training, which certifies instructors to teach fellow Soldiers the skills, procedures and standards for providing final respects to military veterans.
Army National Guard Soldiers Train in Funeral Honors Program
By A.J. Coyne, | March 20, 2024
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The Virginia Army National Guard Funeral Honors Program hosted 11 Army National Guard Soldiers from nine states and territories for a training course Feb. 26-March 8 at the State Military...

A U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 238th Aviation Regiment General Support Aviation Battalion, Michigan Army National Guard, lands beside a U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft assigned to the 186th Air Refueling Wing, Mississippi Air National Guard, in preparation for combat air medical operations training during Southern Strike 2024 at Gulfport Combat Readiness Training Center in Gulfport, Mississippi, March 13, 2024. The team participating in the training included the 146th Aeromedical Evacuation Group, 146th Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard; and the 114th Medical Group, 114th Fighter Wing, South Dakota Air National Guard.
Southern Strike Joint Combat Exercise Concludes in Mississippi
By 2nd Lt. Harrison Matheny, | March 19, 2024
GULFPORT, Miss. - Military members from all departments of the U.S. armed forces participated in the Southern Strike 2024-1 joint combat exercise at Gulfport Combat Readiness Training Center March 4-15.The two-week exercise...

A Soldier serving with Task Force Spartan, the Michigan National Guard’s COVID-19 response team assigned to Michigan food banks, repacks Pop-Tarts at Feeding America West Michigan, Comstock Park, Michigan, Nov. 17, 2020.
Michigan National Guard helps meet demand for food
By Staff Sgt. Tegan Kucera | Dec. 7, 2020
COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. – Food banks have reached out to the Michigan Guard for assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the increased demand for food and a shortage of volunteers.“I was really glad that the government...