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NEWS: Food bank to receive funds raised by community mask initiative (May 2020)

June 15th, 2020 · No Comments

Neighbours come together in a time of “social distancing”

By Tanya Ielyseieva

The Palmerston Area Residents Association (PARA) has donated $7,900 to the Daily Bread Food Bank raised by a community fundraising drive. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, they also launched an initiative to make non-medical masks, which raised some additional funds for the Daily Bread Food Bank.

Ingrid Nasager, PARA membership coordinator and board member, says the idea for the mask project came after hearing the statistic that one in five people may be asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19, and learning that wearing masks could help curb the spread of the disease.

“I liked the idea of wearing a fabric mask, so as to avoid taking away resources from healthcare professionals,” said Nasager.

PARA made a Facebook post asking for people in the neighbourhood who sew to start making masks on April 7. By the time the Gleaner interviewed Nasagar, PARA had collected more than 100. 

Volunteers followed Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations in making the masks. 

They used tightly woven 100% cotton for the outside, and non-woven interfacing for the inside. 

Though not a medical-grade filter, the interfacing makes it harder for the wearer’s infectious respiratory droplets to escape.

There were no set prices for masks, and people could pick them up from various porch-locations at set times.

“The response has really just been so great. It provided a safe space, with social distancing, of course, for people to promote and ask questions, get the latest updates. I’m really glad to see something being done and I’m glad to participate in that,” said Nasager. 

This initiative is part of a larger one launched initially by an anonymous group of neighbours called The Gratitude Project which aimed to raise funds for the Daily Bread Food Bank.

“We called it the Gratitude Project because we’re saying thank you to everybody who helps in the neighborhood and then thank you, to you, who make the donations,” said Paul MacLean, PARA’s chair.

The Daily Bread Food Bank encourages donations, and has a collections button on its web page.

PARA has also provided a community service for seniors like grocery shopping or picking up medications or running errands.

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