Local drive-thru distribution sites giving away thousands of donated masks
Thousands of face masks were given out to folks free of charge on Friday. Drive-thru distribution sites were set up from Pointe Coupee to West Feliciana and in East Baton Rouge Parish.
A majority of those masks and thousands more have been donated from Hanes Inc. to local government agencies across the state.
A steady stream of cars drove through the St. Francisville IGA parking lot to pick up the protective gear.
Residents like Lorraine and Breanna Lawrence lined up to get their own set of personal protective equipment: five face masks made of t-shirt material that are machine washable and reusable.
“I feel secured with the mask,” Lorraine Lawrence said.
7,000 masks in total were donated to the West Feliciana Sheriff’s Office, and around 4,500 were handed out in a little over an hour.
“As you can tell, we’re almost overwhelmed with the amount of response that we’re getting here, which is great because we want to get these in the hands of the people that need them,” West Feliciana Parish Sheriff Brian Spillman said.
It was more of the same over in Central just a few hours later. The shopping center parking lot on the corner of Hooper and Sullivan Road was full as hundreds of cars lined up early before the first masks were given out.
“Very proud of our citizens for coming out to get these and taking this seriously. We had 2,000 of these and we gave out a little over 1,500 in the last hour,” Central Mayor David Barrow said.
The rush for more masks comes as state and local officials continue to urge people to wear some sort of face-covering while out in public.
Other states and cities have now made it mandatory for people to wear masks when in close quarters with others.
“It shows that people are taking this seriously. They’re prepared for some businesses to start reopening next week and having masks to protect themselves going out in public,” Barrow said.
“So masks are now becoming the new norm. That’s the catchphrase everyone is using, and they are. We’re encouraging people to wear them. It protects you. It protects those around you. And it just slows the spread of the virus,” Spillman said.
The West Feliciana Sheriff's Office will be handing out more masks Saturday morning at the St. Francisville IGA starting at 9 a.m. until supplies last.
For more information about free mask distribution sites in our area click here.
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