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National Guard assisting El Paso’s food bank in COVID-19 relief efforts


National Guard soldiers have been assigned to help El Paso’s food bank in the face of overwhelming demand caused by job losses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have been awarded 109 Guardsmen assigned to us as of yesterday. They are a godsend!” El Pasoans Fighting Hunger CEO Susan Goodell said Wednesday.

About 20 Guardsmen were visible Wednesday morning at the Kelly Memorial Food Pantry in Central El Paso, bringing food from a warehouse and placing boxes in cars that drove through the parking lot. The Guardsmen were all wearing face masks, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

National Guard soldiers placed food in car trunks at the Kelly Memorial Food Pantry in Central El Paso on Wednesday. (Robert Moore/El Paso Matters)

The National Guard is frequently used to provide aid during disasters. Texas was recognized as a disaster area because of COVID-19 on March 25.

$1 million matching contribution

El Pasoans Fighting Hunger could still use volunteers, but the biggest needs now are donated masks and monetary contributions to match a $1 million donation announced on Monday, Goodell said.

The matching grant comes from the Paul L. Foster Family Foundation and the Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation, in partnership with the MountainStar Sports Group Foundation. The organizations will match up to $1 million in contributions to El Paso’s food bank.

“As more families face new financial constraints due to COVID-19, we wanted to help make sure those families are still able to put food on their tables and that nobody in our community suffers from hunger during this crisis,” said Woody Hunt, co-owner of MountainStar Sports Group and chairman of the Hunt Family Foundation.

For more information on how to contribute to the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank, visit https://elpasoansfightinghunger.org/ or call (915) 298-0353.

Disclosure: The Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation is a contributor to El Paso Matters.

Robert Moore

Robert Moore is the founder and CEO of El Paso Matters. He has been a journalist in the Texas Borderlands since 1986. He spent most of his career at the El Paso Times, serving in a variety of leadership roles. His work has received a number of top journalism honors including the Burl Osborne award for editorial leadership, the James Madison Award from the Texas Freedom of Information Foundation, the Jack Douglas Award from Texas Associated Press Managing Editors and the Frank W. Mayborn Award for Community Leadership from the Texas Press Association. In 2013, he was the recipient of the Benjamin C. Bradlee Editor of the Year Award from the National Press Association. As a freelance journalist, Moore’s work has appeared in the Washington Post, Texas Monthly, ProPublica, National Public Radio, The Guardian and other publications. He has been featured as an expert on the border by CNN, MSNBC, BBC, CBC and PBS.

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