Cloth Facemasks for Farm Workers
The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is partnering with the Maine Department of Corrections to make and distribute, at no cost, reusable cloth facemasks for the agricultural community in Maine. At present, the Department has 2,000 face masks on hand and another 2,000 are on order. While we know that cloth masks are not equivalent to N95 and other types of PPE, Maine CDC is recommending that individuals wear cloth masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
The Department is asking for your help in: (1) gathering requested mask amounts and (2) dissemination of these masks. The basic parameters for distribution is based on timing and need. Factors to consider in distribution are: what crops/operations would most benefit from receiving masks sooner rather than later, and the amount requested. We hope to be able to provide as many masks are as needed as quickly as possible, but stress that this will be an iterative process and ask for your patience.
Going forward, please work within your memberships and networks to determine the need and to provide us with the overall request, using the attached form. Please limit your requests to 2 masks per person. The DACF point of contact for requests and distribution details is Joy Bonenfant, who can be reached at Joy.L.Bonenfant@maine.gov or at 207-287-566.
Because there may be overlap among groups to some degree, I ask that you please coordinate amongst each other to prevent duplication of requests. We also understand that you may need to make multiple requests as the season progresses.
We are also depending on you to help distribute the masks. DACF can fulfill orders and make them available for pickup at our Augusta or Presque Isle offices, whereupon you can disseminate amongst your networks. It may also be possible for some DACF staff who are in the field to do drop offs to your offices.
Thank you all for your support and helping us make this a successful partnership. And thank you to the Maine Department of Corrections.