SALEM, Ore. — Members of the Oregon National Guard delivered shipments containing roughly 135,000 face coverings to the state fairgrounds in Salem on Wednesday to be distributed out to farm workers around the state.
Guardsmen worked with representatives of the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Oregon State University Extension program to hand the face coverings over to local farm managers and producers. The face coverings are meant to be distributed among migrant farm workers during harvest season.
More than 900,000 face coverings are scheduled for delivery to farm workers throughout the state over the next several days, according to the Oregon Military Department.
“The Oregon National Guard is so proud to do our part to ensure the safety of essential workers,” said Oregon Army National Guard Land Component Commander Brig. Gen. William Prendergast IV. “We are here to help the Oregon Department of Agriculture. It’s definitely a partnership. We are all truly in this together.”
The goal of the initiative is to support essential agricultural and seasonal workers through harvest season in hopes of hampering the spread of COVID-19.
“From my perspective, this is a success,” said Jonathan Sandau, special assistant to the Director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture. “We appreciate the partnership and support from the OSU extension and the Oregon National Guard.”
Since March, the Oregon National Guard has mobilized more than 200 Guardsmen to help support the COVID-19 response. Guard members have assisted with the logistics, delivery, and distribution of millions of PPE throughout the state of Oregon to counties, tribes, many long-term care facilities, and agricultural workers.