LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Ford Motor Company Fund today approved a donation of 2 million protective masks to be distributed at schools throughout Los Angeles Unified as part of the district's coronavirus relief effort.
“We are committed to the highest standard of safety in our schools, including making sure everyone has a mask to help reduce the spread of the virus,'' Superintendent Austin Beutner said. “We are grateful Ford has joined with us in this unprecedented effort to provide a safety net to the students and families we serve.''
The single-use masks offer three-ply protection and will be distributed at schools across Los Angeles Unified through LA Students Most in Need, the charity established by Beutner to support Los Angeles Unified's community relief effort.
“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,'' Ford Fund Director of Community Development Pamela Alexander said, noting that Ford plans to deliver 10 million masks nationwide to communities in need.
“We are proud to add these masks to our ongoing community support in the Los Angeles area, knowing we are at our best when we all come together to help,'' Alexander said.
During the nearly eight months since schools closed due to coronavirus stay-at-home rules, Los Angeles Unified has been joined by thousands of individuals, businesses and philanthropic organizations who have provided money and donations totaling more than $29 million to support the relief effort, Beutner said.
Last week, Los Angeles Unified passed a milestone of providing more than 75 million meals and more than 10 million different supplies – including diapers -- to students and their families at Grab & Go Food Centers.
“This relief effort has already provided 50% more meals than were given to victims of Hurricane Katrina, and it is the largest, school-based relief effort in the nation's history,'' Beutner said.
LAUSD board member Scott M. Schmerelson said he's proud of the tireless effort to manage what's become one of the nation's largest food banks and address hunger families are facing in the midst of the pandemic.
Board member Kelly Gonez added: “When we launched our Grab & Go Food Centers in March, no one could have anticipated that we'd reach the milestone of 75 million meals for our community. Thank you to everyone involved in this sustained effort, from our dedicated staff to those who have donated, to help meet the needs of our students and families.''
Schools in Los Angeles Unified serve almost 700,000 students in 1,413 schools spread across 710 square miles.
To donate to the relief effort, text NEED to 76278 or visit LAStudentsMostInNeed.org.
Photo: Getty Images