HERSHEY, Pa. —
The Hershey Company announced Friday that it is committing $1 million to buy, install and staff a new manufacturing line dedicated to the production of facemasks.
The new line, which will be capable of producing up to 45,000 masks per day, will become operational near the end of May, the company said in a press release.
“Supporting our communities in difficult times is part of our legacy, and an important value that our current employees share,” said Michele Buck, President and CEO. “From the building projects that created local jobs during the Great Depression, to producing military rations during World War II, we take great pride in making a difference where we can.”
The company said its decision to commit to facemask production is to address the nationwide of protective equipment during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Disposable masks will be an integral piece of protecting the health and safety of our employees, their families and our community as we move forward over the weeks and months ahead,” said Jason Reiman, the Hershey Company's Chief Supply Chain Officer. “Changing how we work, and adding this capability is a testament to the adaptability of our team, and our desire to make a difference.”
Converting operations to address a critical need is the latest step in the company’s ongoing efforts to support communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company said.
To date, Hershey has donated millions in cash and product to benefit community safety net organizations and a variety of healthcare organizations, while simultaneously supporting employee safety and wellbeing.
“Caring for communities is not about taking any single action,” added Buck. “It’s a combination of many people taking many actions from a place of shared values and a sense of responsibility for one another. It’s one of the many things I cherish about leading the remarkable women and men of The Hershey Company.”
To learn more about The Hershey Company’s community response, click here.