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DEARBORN, mich., Aug. 28, 2020 – Ford’s Project Apollo, in cooperation with Ford Motor Company Fund, is launching a community donation program that will initially deliver 10 million masks to at-risk communities across the U.S. with limited access to personal protective equipment.
Project Apollo – Ford’s codename for its efforts to produce personal protective equipment, including respirators, face shields, medical gowns, plus ventilators for COVID-19 patients – has improved its ability to build medical-grade masks and is now manufacturing more than the company needs to keep its employees safe.
Ford Motor Company Fund, the company’s philanthropic arm, is engaging its substantial network of nonprofit partners, state and local officials, schools and community groups to mobilize and distribute 10 million masks to help fill the essential needs of hospitals, businesses and communities across the United States.
“Protecting the health of students, families, workers and others at risk in our communities is the top priority as we continue to fight back against this unprecedented pandemic,” said Mary Culler, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. “We are proud to add these masks to our ongoing community support, knowing we are at our best when we all come together to help.”
Masks are being sent to select cities and states with Ford plant locations, as well as other organizations around the country. Recipients for the 10 million masks have been identified and distribution has already started. Additional donations will be made as mask production increases through the end of the year. Decisions on those recipients will be made later. Ford plans to leverage its dealer network where possible once manufacturing ramps up.
Among the first groups to receive masks are:
“From providing disabled veterans free rides to VA medical appointments to free claims assistance and other much needed services in the community, DAV has continued making all of our no-cost services available to disabled veterans and their families since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said John Kleindienst, DAV national voluntary services director. “We simply could not continue these operations without our many selfless volunteers and dedicated employees. Ford’s donation of these masks demonstrates its unwavering commitment to America’s disabled veterans and ensures DAV can continue its mission of supporting them through this pandemic as safely as possible.”
Ford, in partnership with United Auto Workers, has produced more than 75 million pieces of personal protective equipment to meet the enormous demand. Altogether, this amounts to:
Ford’s workforce was able to quickly shift gears to produce urgently needed medical supplies in part because of its strong U.S. manufacturing footprint. Ford employs more hourly workers in the U.S. than any other automaker and assembles more vehicles in the U.S. than any other automaker.
Ford Fund has contributed nearly $3 million to nonprofits helping people manage challenges related to the pandemic, including more than $1.1 million delivered by employees and others through the COVID-19 match program. To learn more about Ford Fund’s response to hunger,
shelter and safety issues surrounding COVID-19, and ways you can help, visit www.fordfund.org/covid19.