MONROE, La. – Soldiers with the Louisiana National Guard’s 527th and 528th Engineer Battalions, 225th Engineer Brigade, are supporting dual missions of COVID-19 response efforts in Monroe and clearing debris in the wake of several tornadoes in northeast Louisiana.More than 20 Soldiers are packaging 700 boxes of food per day at Northeast Louisiana Food Bank in Monroe for distribution to residents in need during the stay-at-home period.“They’ve come in and helped pack backpacks, bag produce and do a multitude of jobs around here that we usually strictly rely on volunteers to do,” said Ashley White, director of operations at the food bank. “They’re helping us continue to serve the people in our communities that are struggling with hunger. They are energetic, they’re happy to be here, and they’re willing to help. There’s been nothing that we have asked of them that they couldn’t do.”Spc. Mackenzie Mack, with the 528th, grew up in Bernice and lives in Boston. But he still drills with the LANG and elected to stay in town to help support the community during COVID-19 response efforts.“I know that most people are out of jobs, and the boxes we are making here are helping to provide food for those in need,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to give back, so for me to be here this year and actually see the faces I’m helping feels good.”As part of the clean-up mission, the LANG activated over 30 Guard members from the 225th who used 10 dump trucks, two bulldozers, two skid steers and one excavator to collect and remove debris in West Monroe and Monroe.“The Guard is a force multiplier and is able to respond on many fronts at once with heavy equipment for the tornadoes, assisting food bank operations and also delivering medical supplies across northeast Louisiana in support of COVID-19,” said Director Neal Brown, Ouachita Parish Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. “We know what the Guard can bring to the fight, and we appreciate the support.”The Guard has hauled over 7,200 tons of debris to collection sites across the parish. The LANG also helped prepare and operate a debris collection site in West Monroe.“To be able to assist our community in a time of need is a humbling and inspirational experience,” said Maj. Robert Bratton, executive officer of the 528th Engineer Battalion. “The Soldiers of the 528th have risen to the occasion and represented our state, community, and battalion with pride.”The LANG has mobilized over 1,265 Soldiers and Airmen throughout the state. They are helping at drive-thru testing sites and food banks and providing medical and engineering support, shelter security and traffic control, among other missions.For more National Guard news: http://www.nationalguard.mil/National Guard Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheNationalGuard/National Guard Twitter: https://twitter.com/usnationalguardNational Guard COVID-19 Response: https://www.nationalguard.mil/coronavirus/Coronavirus (COVID-19): https://www.coronavirus.gov/Latest from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/COVID-19 Response: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thenationalguard/albums/72157713483827538