A typical workday for Ohio State University’s Matt Spisak used to consist of project work related to Wexner Medical Center construction. But in the days of COVID-19, the Facilities Operations and Development project manager has been called to provide a different kind of support as part of the Ohio Military Reserves.
“I have been part of the team supporting the Mid-Ohio Foodbank,” Spisak said. “We have been sorting, packing and distributing food all around the central Ohio region.”
Spisak, a native of Perry, Ohio, is a 2nd Lieutenant with the Ohio Military Reserve. The group is part of the Ohio Army National Guard’s 37th Combat Infantry Brigade, headquartered in Columbus. He was called to active duty shortly after the onset of the pandemic.
“I always wanted to serve and give back,” Spisak said. “I felt it was the right time.”
Spisak has been a member of the reserve for a little over three years.
“We train for missions related to disaster relief,” Spisak said. “I am in the engineering section that focuses on making sure our facilities and equipment are maintained and repaired if needed.”
Spisak says his degree in construction management from Ohio State has helped him reach that position.
There are 14 foodbank locations across the state that the Ohio National Guard and Ohio Military Reserve are supporting. Spisak says in just over a month, collectively, they have distributed more than 9.4 million pounds of food to Ohioans in need.
“In this time of need I was glad that my skills and fellow soldiers could be used to help our community,” Spisak said, crediting his many years of training. “I am grateful to have a great team of co-workers that are helping cover my projects while I am helping serve our community.”
Nikolina Sevis, Spisak’s supervisor in FOD’s Design and Construction office, was quick to provide kudos for her co-worker.
“We are proud of the work Matt is doing in the community as a member of the Ohio Military Reserve during this challenging time,” Sevis said.
Even though many people are staying at home and isolating, Spisak says you can still help those in need.
“There are many resources that can help, including your local food bank,” Spisak said. “Please continue to follow the guidelines established by the CDC, Ohio Department of Health and the Governor’s office. It’s helping more than you can imagine.”
Spisak is tentatively planning to work in his reserve role at least through the end of May, but there is no set timetable on when his mission will be complete.
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This story was originally published by Ohio State University.