Ford has announced its plan to donate millions of masks to at-risk communities across the United States through 2021.
The initiative will distribute 100 million medical-grade masks through the Ford Motor Company Fund to American communities "with limited access to personal protective equipment" as the country continues to reopen.
The company, currently manufacturing 2.5 million medical-grade masks a week for its employees and at-risk communities, says it is growing the number of mask-making machines by mid- to late-October to increase production and deliver on its goal.
Ford is working with Ford Motor Company Fund, the company’s philanthropic arm, to identify donation recipients across the U.S. through a network of nonprofit and state and local partners. The company is focusing on military veterans, schools, food banks and African American communities, among others.
“As the pandemic continues, so does the spirit, grit and dedication of our Ford team and UAW partners to step up and contribute to help our country,” said Jim Hackett, Ford president and CEO. “Working together, we’re setting a goal of producing 100 million masks for families, children, individuals and communities who need them most.”
The announcement comes ahead of a new short documentary by award-winning director Peter Berg (“Friday Night Lights,” “Patriots Day,” “Lone Survivor”) titled “On the Line.”
Premiering on YouTube at 2 p.m. EDT Friday, the documentary focuses on Ford’s Project Apollo, the internal codename for the company’s all-out effort to design and manufacture personal protective equipment, including powered air-purifying respirators, face shields, medical gowns for healthcare workers and first responders, plus ventilators for COVID-19 patients.
Berg’s deep dive into the story features members of Ford’s Project Apollo team – from the engineers who led the project to the UAW team members who volunteered to work at the height of the pandemic.
“Just weeks into the virus, with most people sheltering at home and so many lives on the line, the duty and sacrifice shown by the Ford team and UAW to put aside their personal concerns and go to work to provide what the country needed represented the absolute best of our country,” said Berg. “‘On the Line’ commemorates those heroic efforts and shows that no matter what challenges we may face, when we come together, we can do great things.”
Last week, Ford Motor Company Fund shipped 10 million face masks to the National Urban League, American Red Cross, Disabled American Veterans and other local organizations to protect against COVID-19.
Ford, in partnership with the UAW, has produced more than 72 million pieces of personal protective equipment to meet the enormous demand, altogether amounting to:
- More than 45 million face masks and 20 million face shields
- 50,000 patient ventilators
- More than 32,000 powered air-purifying respirators in collaboration with 3M
- 1.4 million washable isolation gowns