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INDIANAPOLIS — The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way many companies are operating right now, including one of the state's largest hunger relief non-profits which is feeding double the families than normal at this time.
"I was slicing beef. Then Monday I was doing dishes so it's like different for us every day," Indiana National Guardsman Dianna said.
She never imagined she'd be putting on an apron and cooking in a kitchen as part of her duties but she along with other Guardsmen were deployed by Gov. Eric Holcomb to Second Helpings and other community food providers to assist in any way needed as part of the state's coronavirus response.
"I feel great, helping others," Dianna said. "I never thought I would be doing this honestly in the guard."
Jennifer Vigran, the CEO of Second Helpings, said their resources are stretched.
"We had a problem with food insecurity before this happened," Vigran said. "The numbers we're seeing are unlike anything any of us have ever seen before."
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Staff at Second Helpings are split into two different shifts to churn out the increased need at food banks, shelters and senior centers.
"Just the demand has been extraordinary," Vigran said. "We now deliver more than twice as many meals as we did before COVID-19."
Normally, there would be a lot more people in the kitchen working elbow to elbow. Now they're having to socially distance, wearing face masks and the National Guard are sanitizing the place six times a day.
Recognizing the need, companies like Kroger are making huge contributions to support Second Helpings at this time.
"We are really grateful to Kroger and so many others who have stepped up in this crisis to make sure that Second Helpings could continue to address the demand and never have to say no to somebody who needed our help," Vigram said.