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Reusable COVID-19 masks available for low-income Islanders at all food banks

Three-ply, non-medical and reusable masks are now available at all food bank locations across the province. Mike MacDonald, left, executive director of the P.E.I. Association of Food Banks, and Social Development and Housing Minister Ernie Hudson display some of the masks.
Three-ply, non-medical and reusable masks are now available at all food bank locations across the province. Mike MacDonald, left, executive director of the P.E.I. Association of Food Banks, and Social Development and Housing Minister Ernie Hudson display some of the masks. - Contributed

The P.E.I. government is spending between $30,000 and $35,000 to make facemasks available for low-income Islanders at all food bank locations across the province. 

The masks are three-ply, non-medical and reusable. 

The province has collaborated with the P.E.I. Association of Food Banks to distribute masks to Islanders in need. 

Non-medical masks or face coverings became mandatory in all public spaces in Prince Edward Island as of Nov. 20. 

The Guardian asked Premier Dennis King about non-medical masks for low-income Islanders at a news briefing on Nov. 23 after another community group approached the newspaper about getting masks out to those in need.

King said the affordability of masks should never be a determining factor in people being able to wear them.

On Wednesday, Social Development and Housing Minister Ernie Hudson said, for many Islanders, purchasing masks does not fall within their budget.

“Every Islander deserves access to protection against COVID-19," Hudson said. “The health and safety of Islanders is of the utmost importance."

Mike MacDonald, executive director of the food banks association, said all Islanders should have access to not only healthy food, but resources to maintain their health.

“This effort will help ease the financial burden on low-income Islanders, who may otherwise not be able to afford a mask," MacDonald said.

Masks are available at the following locations: 

  • Upper Room Hospitality Ministry, 33 Belmont St., Charlottetown;
  • Salvation Army Food Bank, 158 Fitzroy St., Charlottetown;
  • Cornwall Food Bank, 5 Lowther Dr., Cornwall;
  • Southern Kings and Queens Food Bank Inc., 222 PE-17, Montague;
  • Crapaud South Shore Food Share, 20424 Trans-Canada Highway, Crapaud;
  • Souris Food Bank, 56 Main St., Souris;
  • Summerside Salvation Army Food Bank, 374 Pope Rd., Summerside;
  • Alberton Caring Cupboard, 498 Main St., Alberton;
  • Bloomfield Caring Cupboard, 37947 Veteran’s Memorial Highway, O’Leary;
  • Tignish Caring Cupboard, 315 School St., Tignish;
  • Tyne Valley Caring Cupboard, 815 Canada Rd., Tyne Valley;
  • Campus Food Bank, UPEI campus, 550 University Ave., Charlottetown;
  • Kensington Food Bank, 30 Garden Dr., Kensington;
  • Rustico Food Bank, 58 Church Hill Ave., North Rustico.

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