FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear welcomed a donation from Ford Motor Co. of two million masks Monday, among the latest corporate donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) to the state.
What You Need To Know
- Ford donates two million masks to Kentucky
- Donation is part of Project Apollo
- Beshear, others tour warehouse where masks are stored
“Even before this global health crisis arrived in Kentucky more than six months ago, we were working to secure the personal protective equipment needed to keep our people safe,” Beshear said. “The many great companies that do business in the commonwealth have been key partners in these efforts. Today, we’re happy to announce that the Ford Motor Co. has generously donated 2 million masks to the commonwealth, which is among the largest gifts we have received. This donation undoubtedly will help save Kentuckians’ lives.”
The donation is part of Project Apollo, a program launched by Ford that gathers the automaker’s top engineers and members of the United Auto Workers with the goal of producing 100 million masks through 2021. Ford is a longstanding employer and partner in Kentucky, operating the Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville.
Beshear and his wife Britainy, along with Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, Dr. Steven Stack, and others, toured the Kentucky Department for Public Health warehouse in Frankfort where the PPE is housed before being distributed statewide.
“We know that wearing a mask is one of the most important things we can do to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Coleman said. “Your donation of 2,000,000 masks makes sure that groups like front-line health care workers, first responders, teachers and students have what is necessary to stay healthy. This donation has saved the lives of Kentuckians.”
Ford’s donation isn’t the first gift Kentucky has received from corporations.
Toyota provided 1,827 N95 masks while Gray Construction and AE Electrical Solutions delivered 50 to 40 masks, respectively, in March.
In August, Lexington-based Galls donated 37,500 isolations gowns while Michigan-based Dow Chemical Co. added another 2,000 of the PPE items.
A number of others have contributed to Kentucky’s PPE stockpile, including Louisville-based Clayton & Crume, Evergreen Point and Flavorcraft Industries Inc.; Bowling Green-based Fruit of the Loom; Hebron-based C.W. Zumbiel Co.; Lexington-based Grogan Healthcare Supplies Inc. and Public Safety Store; Corbin-based Southeastern Kentucky Rehabilitation Industries.
As well, North Carolina-based Lowe’s; Gordon Food Service of Chicago, TPG Plastics of Illinois, and Jacob and Thompson – Worldwide Foam of Indiana, also have contributed to the commonwealth’s PPE stocks. National companies including home goods chain Lowe’s, global distribution company Solutions 2 Go, battery giant Duracell, and furniture chain Ashley HomeStore also have donated PPE to Kentucky.
Dozens of individuals and smaller businesses have added to the commonwealth’s reserves by bringing donations to their local Kentucky State Police posts.
As of Sept. 9, Kentucky’s inventory of PPE is:
- Gloves: 7,425,257
- Face shields: 1,261,766
- Surgical masks: 11,279,861
- N95 masks: 930,110
- Gowns: 1,305,556
The Department for Public Health projects the amount of PPE needed may increase if cases surge in the state; however, the state is currently showing a healthy supply of face shields, surgical masks, and N95 masks. If there is a sharp increase in cases, Kentucky will need more gloves and gowns, according to a release from the Governor’s Office.
“COVID-19 has challenged us in many ways and one of those has been the struggle to make sure we have the necessary tools to keep our health care workers and first responders supplied with critical PPE,” said Stack. “The generosity of private citizens and corporations has been pivotal to overcoming these supply challenges, and today’s donation by Ford of 2 million face masks to support Team Kentucky is yet another example of kindness and the power of coming together to help each other.”