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Associated Food Stores Getting 37K Cloth Face Masks

Associated Food Stores Getting 37K Cloth Face Masks
AFS will divide up the masks it receives among its 400-plus independent member retailers

Associated Food Stores (AFS) will receive 37,000 masks for distribution to its 400-plus independent member retailers, corporate retail stores and Farr West distribution facility through a partnership with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and apparel company Hanes, with the support of FMI – the Food Industry Association.

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated its recommendation regarding the use of cloth face coverings to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. The CDC recommends the use of cloth masks as a voluntary action in public settings where other social-distancing measures are difficult to maintain, as in grocery stores and pharmacies.

“We want to publicly thank FEMA and Hanes for their assistance in mitigating risk for Associated Food Stores’ team members across eight western states,” said Steve Miner, president of market development at Salt Lake City-based AFS.These masks help slow the spread of COVID-19 and help grocery teams and those working at the AFS warehouse, who are on the front line, confidently do their work as essential employees.” 

The masks are scheduled to arrive at the distribution center in the next few days. Once delivered, they will be divided and distributed to each AFS member retailer.

“Grocery associates have worked every day to ensure families have access to food and consumer goods during this unprecedented time,” noted Jennifer Hatcher, chief public policy officer at Arlington, Va.-based FMI. “Keeping employees safe and maintaining public health and confidence during this pandemic remains a top priority for retailers. This emergency presents extraordinary challenges, and our associates are rising to the occasion, working each day to offer a shopping experience that is safe and accommodating to their customers.”

Other retailers to require or recommend the use of face masks among employees or shoppers include Walmart and The Fresh Market, as well as smaller chains Karns Quality Foods and Nugget Markets.

AFS is an independent retailer-owned that provides complete warehouse facilities and services to more than 400 grocers throughout the Intermountain West.

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