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State Sends 140K Free Face Masks To Grocery Stores For Customers

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Dozens of grocery stores and other retailers are sharing a bounty of 140,000 free face masks to help communities and underserved populations fight the spread of COVID-19.

The masks were made as part of #MaskUtah, which has the goal of making 1.25 million masks. A Mask for Every Utahn has saved or created 300 jobs in the Beehive State, according to the Utah Manufacturers Association.

This project is a large partnership including the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), Associated Foods, Utah Food Industry Association and Kroger. The goal is to protect customers and store employees, according to a news release.

The masks were shipped last week and will be distributed at grocery stores and pharmacies, hardware stores, convenience stores and other retail outlets.

Customers can go to the customer service desks at any of the nearly 180 participating stores and ask for a mask.

Ben Hart, deputy director at the Governor’s Office of Economic Development said, “For Utahns who haven’t been able to make or locate a face covering, the distribution of #MaskUtah masks to grocery stores and other retail outlets in Utah provides one more way the state is utilizing federal CARES Act funds to help Utahns and respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

He added, “Using a face covering in public is a gesture of respect for those around you and an essential part of limiting the spread of COVID-19.”

The release said using grocery stores to help deliver the masks and distribution to nonprofits that serve vulnerable populations has been a part of the initiative since its inception.

The program has received orders from 272,156 households requesting a total of 1,161,049 masks, according to the release.

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