As part of President Joe Biden’s strategy to stop the spread of COVID-19, Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support provided over 400,000 adult and youth face masks in May to 16 Philadelphia community centers.
Philabundance, the Share Food Program and other organizations distributed the masks.
DLA coordinated mask requisitions with the Department of Health and Human Services after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention prioritized areas most affected by COVID-19 to receive masks in February. The agency has since provided masks to 1,400-plus federally qualified health centers, 125 tribal organizations and 200 foodbanks nationwide.
The Clothing and Textiles supply chain worked with the Health Resources and Service Administration, Emergency Food Assistance Program and Feeding America to determine the number of masks needed by each community organization nationwide, said Eboni Martin, Organizational Clothing and Individual Equipment Customer Cell Division chief.
“The CDC provided us with an order based on need and proximity to harm, so areas with higher COVID-19 cases were prioritized,” Martin said.
Communicating directly to community organizations ensured the deliveries were successful, added Robin Kirkland-Gonzales, C&T customer liaison support officer. Her team notified customers via email on delivery dates of the free masks.
Yvonne Bell, president and chief executive officer of Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo, Inc. in El Centro, California, said her team was grateful to receive the masks.
“The use of the masks helps to ensure the protection from transmission and spread of the COVID-19 virus, which is in line with our mission to improve the health and well-being of those we serve,” Bell said.