Skip to body

Central Washington University

CWU Employee Among National Guard Members Helping at Food Bank

Friday, May 22, 2020

Wildcats around the state have been doing everything they can to give others comfort during the ongoing public health crisis. 

Over the past two months, CWU employee Jemell Garris has been among the ‘Cats making a difference. The network infrastructure services manager is one of 15 Washington National Guard members who have been working at a food bank in Lakewood since April, boxing up donations and preparing them for distribution.

The national effort, funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), provides humanitarian aid to populations in need. 

Garris, a sergeant first class and former infantryman in the Army, has been working remotely from Lakewood — near Joint Base Lewis McChord — since the statewide stay-at-home order took effect in late March. When he’s not managing network infrastructure projects for the university, he is donating his free time for a higher purpose.

“A lot of people have been contributing to this effort, and we’re all proud to be a part of it,” said Garris, who joined the CWU family last summer.

State Sen. Steve Hobbs, a National Guard officer, also has been helping out at the food bank this spring. The group’s orders were recently extended through the end of May.

This project is just another reminder that we are all in this together. #CWUTogether

Photo information: Garris is standing second from left in the photo above.

Media contact: David Leder, Department of Public Affairs,

Take the Next Step to Becoming a Wildcat.