By Eli Hughes–

Gov. Andy Beshear announced in his daily press conference April 1 action his office is taking to help the groups most affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

These announcements included the deployment of the Kentucky National Guard to help distribute food to those in need and expanding the capacity of the unemployment claims call center.

The National Guard will be sent to four food banks in Louisville, Elizabethtown, Lexington and Wilder.

“This support for Kentucky’s food banks will help our community members continue to receive food and pantry items that they desperately need,” said Brig. Gen. Hal Lamberton, Kentucky’s Adjutant General.

National members will help sort, package and deliver food to senior citizens, families and displaced workers who are affected by the outbreak.

Beshear has previously expanded access to unemployment insurance. The surge in unemployment comes after Beshear shut down non-essential businesses in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Beshear said at the press conference they are working on solving the issues caused by an increase in unemployment claims. Because of this increase in unemployment claims, the state’s unemployment call center has increased its capacity.

The center has gone from receiving about 1,500 calls per day to receiving anywhere from 80,000 to 200,000 calls per day, according to Josh Benton, deputy secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Those who are interested in helping Kentucky residents affected by the outbreak can donate to the Team Kentucky fund that Beshear has established.

File Graphic//The Louisville Cardinal