How the National Guard will help in Washington state

Food banks in Washington state that are grappling with staff and supply shortages will get a boost from the state's National Guard.

Gov. Jay Inslee announced Tuesday that the guard units will be deployed to food banks across the state to make sure they remain stocked and operational through the coronavirus crisis.

130 Washington National Guardsmen will be deployed in King, Pierce, Chelan and Franklin Counties.

"I ask that you welcome them in your communities as they process, package and distribute meals," Inslee said.

Food banks often rely on volunteers, many of them elderly and unable to help now that they're at higher risk for complications from COVID-19.

"We don't send the National Guard into a community without a request from the locals for backup," said David Postman, Inslee's chief of staff.

They will not be providing law enforcement services, and contrary to widespread rumors, there will be no "martial law" enforced by the guardsmen.

In Arizona, the National Guard has been stocking store shelves at grocery stores.