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50,000 face shields being donated to Maryland healthcare workers and first responders

Posted at 5:21 PM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 17:21:27-04

BALTIMORE — 50,000 face shields are being donated to Maryland healthcare workers and first responders.

In partnership with Maryland Department of Commerce and Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), Coca-Cola North America and several partners recently delivered 25,000 face shields to support healthcare workers at area hospitals and municipal health departments who are caring for patients with COVID-19.

An additional 25,000 face shields will be assembled and delivered to Maryland healthcare workers this week.

Coca-Cola North America, partnered with MakersRespond and K&W Finishing to donate several thousand pounds of recyclable PET plastic to produce the face shields.

Once the face shields were manufactured and packaged, Coca-Cola Consolidated, the nation’s largest Coca-Cola bottler, delivered the equipment to the State of Maryland.

“We’re incredibly grateful for the generosity of The Coca-Cola Company to help us scale our production capability and to donate materials needed to make face shields for frontline healthcare workers in need,” said Bill Schongar, executive director of MakersRespond, and president of MakeIt Labs. “Together, MakersRespond and The Coca-Cola Company are bringing considerable resources to bear at both a national and local level.”

The 25,000 face shields produced by Baltimore-based K&W Finishing, a local company specializing in quality printing such as traditional die cutting, coating, and other bindery services, were delivered to a warehouse in Columbia, MD and will be distributed in the following weeks to area hospitals and municipal health departments based upon need.

K&W Finishing is one of more than 40 Maryland companies to receive a grant through the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund, which was created by Maryland Commerce to incentivize local companies to produce Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

While K&W Finishing doesn’t traditionally produce PPE, the company was able to quickly pivot their operations to make the face shields.

“This partnership exemplifies the kind of innovative thinking that is most needed right now to ensure our frontline healthcare workers have necessary protective equipment to care for patients,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. “I want to thank Coca-Cola, MakersRespond and K&W Finishing for working together to help us save lives and flatten the curve.”