Ford Motor Company steps up to donate free COVID-19 masks
Four million free masks are being provided to Michigan residents who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 through a partnership involving the state, Ford Motor Company and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Low-income residents, seniors, schools and homeless shelters will benefit from the MI Mask Aid partnership that is part of the Mask Up Michigan campaign.
“Michigan needs to continue to ‘mask up’ to protect us all from COVID-19,” Gov. Whitmer said. “Vulnerable populations may have difficulties buying masks and our schools need face coverings to keep students, staff and community members safe. I am thrilled that the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), Ford and FEMA are working together to help control the spread of the coronavirus.”
The project is in partnership with Gov. Whitmer’s Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities chaired by Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II.
The irony of this pandemic that requires physical distancing is that it reveals how connected we truly are—how much we rely on one another every day,” Lt. Governor Gilchrist II said. “I’m thankful for our partners at Ford, FEMA and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for coming together in a big way to ensure that our communities, particularly those hardest hit, have what they need to get through these tough times. By delivering four million masks at no cost to Michiganders, we can provide a proven, lifesaving device to countless residents as they go back to work, school, and define new way of living during this pandemic.”
The free masks include 1.5 million from FEMA that the state has already sent to organizations that include local Community Action Agencies serving low-income residents, MDHHS offices, Area Agencies on Aging, homeless shelters and Native American tribes.
Another 1 million face coverings from FEMA and 1.5 million from Ford will go to low-income schools, the City of Detroit, Federally Qualified Health Centers, some COVID-19 testing sites and to many of the organizations listed above to reach vulnerable populations – including minority residents who have been affected by the public health crisis as a result of racism.
Ford’s involvement makes MI Mask Aid a public-private partnership that can provide even more free masks. Ford assembles more vehicles and employs more hourly workers in the U.S. than any other automaker.
“Ford has a rich history of stepping up in times of crisis to help Michigan and our country, said Ford Motor Company president and CEO Jim Hackett. And today we continue in our efforts, with the State of Michigan and in coordination with the Task Force on Racial Disparities, by donating face masks to serve communities especially vulnerable to COVID-19.”