United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island is working with partners to distribute 16,000 masks as part of Deloitte Canada’s One Million Masks project. (Stock photo)

United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island is working with partners to distribute 16,000 masks as part of Deloitte Canada’s One Million Masks project. (Stock photo)

United Way and partners handing out thousands of masks as part of One Million Mask project

Nanaimo’s Loaves and Fishes food bank and BCAA helping provide masks to those who need them

Everyone needs masks these days and United Way and its partners are trying to make sure more people get them.

United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island will distribute 16,000 masks across the region, representing its share of Deloitte Canada’s One Million Masks project, according to a United Way press release.

The social agency will distribute the masks via partnerships with transportation providers such as B.C. Ferries and B.C. Transit, as well as businesses and community organizations.

“Everyone is doing their part to flatten the COVID-19 curve and we know that our local community partners are working tirelessly to keep their clients and staff safe,” said Signy Madden, executive director of United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island. “We are incredibly grateful to collaborate and share these masks throughout our community; they are a practical way we can help local front-line agencies that are providing essential supports throughout this crisis.”

READ ALSO: Stay informed about COVID-19

Nanaimo’s Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank, with the help of BCAA, is helping deliver masks during its travels as part of its food distribution work.

The United Way Lower Mainland is working with the Vancouver Airport, BCAA, OEC Group logistics, SCI Logistics, B.C. Transit, TransLink and B.C. Ferries.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our No. 1 priority has been to keep customers, employees and coastal communities safe,” said Mark Collins, CEO of B.C. Ferries, in the release. “Collaborating for this initiative demonstrates our commitment to keeping British Columbians and our economy safe and moving.”

Distribution of the one million masks started in Metro Vancouver in January and is expanding to other areas of B.C.

Etienne Bruson, vice-chairperson of Deloitte in B.C., said in the release that the project is a step toward reinforcing confidence in the transportation sector to help get the economy moving again safely.

“This is about making an impact that matters when it comes to equality, prosperity, and fairness for all British Columbians,” he said.

For more information about the program, visit www.uwlm.ca/onemillionmasks.

READ ALSO: Masking facial expressions creates communication challenges, say VIU profs


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