Maple Leaf Foods is distributing 500,000 free face masks in Brandon to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the western Manitoba city.
The food processor and the City of Brandon announced the partnership late Monday evening, saying each household will receive 25, three-ply, disposable masks.
The move comes as 53 Maple Leaf employees in Brandon have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent weeks. The virus hasn’t reached the plant itself and food production continues, despite calls from the union representing workers to shut down.
Brandon residents can pick up their free masks beginning Wednesday, August 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Keystone Centre, 1175 18th Street. Enter at the Queens and 18th entrance, pull up at the mask station and receive the bag of masks through the window. Cars will exit out Hill Avenue.
The second site will be Riverbank Discovery Centre, 545 Conservation Drive inside the gazebo at the north parking lot.
“As the city’s largest employer, Maple Leaf Foods is deeply committed to helping the community stay safe and is pleased to work with the City of Brandon on this effort,” the company said in a release.
“Social distancing, frequent hand washing and wearing a mask are the most effective steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the community.”
As part of the mask distribution effort, Maple Leaf also donated nearly 10,000 masks to local social service agencies in Brandon this week.