In a deal with Halo masks, the Salvation Army in Manhattan was able to give out up to 1,000 masks of different sizes to the homeless and needy New Yorkers to keep them safe during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and prevent a resurgence of the virus.
People lined up at the 14th Street headquarters in Manhattan Monday morning to receive the special PPE masks, a washable, reusable mask complete with insert filter good for 200 hours of use. The mask distribution is part of the Salvation Army effort to help members of the community stay safe from COVID-19 while providing more than 200 meals a day just at this facility, to the homeless and the many needy, some of whom have become unemployed because of the pandemic.
Major Kevin Stoops, general secretary of the Salvation Army Divisional headquarters, said his organization has an opportunity to distribute Halo Masks made by Halo Life, to distribute the masks to those coming to the soup kitchen for lunch. He said many are homeless or unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and he said many are “vulnerable” and “don’t have access to masks of this quality.”
“This is a high-quality mask given to us by Halo Life today so that they can get in the hands of those who most desperately need it,” Stoops said. “Halo has made the commitment for every mask they sell, they will donate one to be distributed out to us to those who most need it. Those who come here to receive food, we are placing masks in their hands so that they can be safe from the coronavirus, but also the people they come into contact with are safe as well.”
The Salvation Army on 14th Street expects to serve 150 to 275 meals in one day, Monday through Friday. Meals are grab-and-go because of the virus and to prevent mass gatherings that spread the contagion.
“This is important for people who don’t have access to a lot of protective equipment,” Stoops said.
Mathew Washington stood in line and received his mask from Stoops. He said he was grateful for the help he was receiving.
“I think these masks are great – you can just feel the quality if it and it can be used in warmer times,” he said. “I had a mask on, but this one is much better than the one I just took off. I feel much safer.”
The distribution is all day Monday and might be distributed later as supplies last.