In the late afternoon on Tuesday, September 22, 2020, Second Harvest Food Bank team members once again stood shoulder-to-shoulder with North Carolina National Guard members -- this time for a flag raising ceremony, held to officially thank and honor the citizen soldiers of the 505th Engineer Battalion and the 1452nd Heavy Equipment Transportation Company who were deployed to support Second Harvest’s emergency response efforts through the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the brief ceremony, Second Harvest Food Bank leaders unveiled a commemorative marker installed at the base of its new flagpole as an expression of appreciation for the extraordinary service provided by the North Carolina National Guard during a time of unprecedented need in our community.
At the height of their deployment to Second Harvest Food Bank, 70 National Guard members each working full-time hours performed a range of duties. These activities included operation of a daily Pop-Up Produce Pantry; pulling orders for the Food Bank’s partner food assistance programs and loading their vehicles; delivering meals for children and seniors to on-the-ground program partners, and much more.
At a time when the Food Bank’s faithful volunteer force was under stay-at-home orders by the Governor’s office, the North Carolina National Guard performed duties essential to the food bank’s continued operations.
"The soldiers became part of the Second Harvest Food Bank Team," remarked Lisa Richardson, Second Harvest's VP of Operations. "They showed us that being a true hero means showing concern and care for the people around you and taking action without expectation of reward."