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Maryland National Guard helps provide healthy meals to Baltimore youth during coronavirus outbreak

The Maryland National Guard pitched in with Baltimore City Parks and Recreation Wednesday to help distribute free meals to children and youth ages 18 and under.

At least six guardsmen staffed the Herring Run Recreational Center in Northeast Baltimore around noon to pass out the meals. At least 10 people were served over the course of 40 minutes.

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After Gov. Larry Hogan declared a State of Emergency due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the state’s guard was dispatched to several areas statewide. Lester Davis, Communications Director in Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young’s office said the city was “happy” to have the assistance.

“The guard was helpful with staffing and making sure we had a critical mass of people and volunteers to get meals to young people,” Davis said.

Specialist Eric Williams, a native of West Baltimore, said the state’s National Guard is serving as “a face” to the community and show support to let people know they are there to help.

Williams, who has been with the National Guard for three years, said the meal services are important for the community and he understands that national pandemics can devastate families in need.

“We are only here to help, not to make the situation worse for the people here in Maryland,” Williams said.

The city first started hosting the free meal events on Monday and the last day is scheduled for Friday, March 27, and thee guard will be there every day until then.

The program to feed Baltimore’s children has locations all over the city, including recreation centers, and local churches. Some, including South Baltimore’s Virginia S. Baker-Patterson Park Recreation center and the Mora Crossman Recreation center, are serving breakfast and lunch from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

To find the location closest to you, more information on mobile meal locations can be found here.

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