Customers at King County locations of Safeway will be able to take home free face masks with their groceries starting Monday, Aug. 24, with a new partnership between King County, Safeway and UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers) Local 21.
King County purchased more than 25 million face masks for county residents, and to date has distributed more than 14 million reusable and disposable masks through direct distribution and partnerships with local chambers of commerce and other community organizations.
“As we all learn to wear masks when we’re heading into a public setting, we’re starting to see progress in defeating the spread of COVID-19, and this partnership between Safeway and UFCW 21 will help get more masks into the hands of people throughout King County,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine in a county news release.
Customers at any of the 59 Safeway locations in King County can obtain two free reusable masks per person in their household, for up to 12 masks total, while at the check stand. Disposable masks will also be available for customers who may have forgotten or misplaced their masks at all stores. All told Safeway will help distribute 750,000 face masks provided by King County.
“We appreciate this partnership with King County to make certain that everyone has access to a quality cloth mask, and are especially grateful for the customers who so quickly adapted to wearing a mask during shopping to help protect our associates and others in the store,” said Sara Osborne, director of external affairs for Safeway, Seattle division.
“UFCW 21 applauds Executive Constantine’s leadership in the fight to keep workers and our communities safe, and we appreciate the partnership with both King County and Safeway on this effort,” said Faye Gunther, president of UFCW 21. “Even in a pandemic, most people still end up at the grocery store on a regular basis, which makes it a great place to distribute free protective gear. We know from experience that when people have access to free masks, they’re more likely to use them and less likely to be confrontational with people enforcing health and safety rules. This is an extremely difficult time for most front-line essential workers, who are stepping up to offer vital services to our communities, often for no extra pay or benefits. Anything that supports workplace safety and community safety at the same time like this is a win-win.”
King County will also host a free mask distribution on Tuesday, Aug. 25 in Issaquah. Each resident can receive two reusable cloth masks, and each vehicle can obtain masks for up to six household members, or 12 masks per vehicle.
East King County mask distribution
Where: Pickering Barn, 1730 10th Ave NW, Issaquah, WA 98027
When: Tuesday, Aug. 25 from 1-5pm
Note: You must be a King County resident to be eligible to receive masks at this event. This is a drive through pick up event. Interested King County residents can enter at the parking lot entrance, drive through to the Amazon Treasure Truck, tell the staff person the number of individuals in their household, and receive 2 cloth reusable masks per household, up to 6 household members. The maximum number of masks a car can receive is 12.