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Masked up

CJ Bio donates thousands of masks to area schools

-Submitted photo
These masks were donated to Community Christian School from CJ Bio America. CJ has donated 7,000 masks between area schools.

In an effort to make sure every student who needed a mask got one, CJ Bio America delivered thousands of them to area schools just as the school year was getting underway.

The company delivered about 7,000 masks total. Those masks were delivered by Andy Sheffield, CJ human resources manager, to Fort Dodge community schools, St. Edmond Catholic School, Community Christian School and Manson Northwest Webster schools.

Adult and youth-sized masks were included in the donations.

According to Luke Palmer, senior operations manager for the Fort Dodge plant, many of the masks came from Seoul, South Korea. Seoul is where CJ Bio’s parent company, CJ CheilJedang Corp., is headquartered.

CJ also delivered 40 K95 masks and about 150 N95 masks throughout the community.

Palmer said in a typical year where a global pandemic is not an issue, the company likes to volunteer for cleanup days and other activities in the community.

But 2020 has complicated those plans.

“One of the things we like to do is support the community and we haven’t been able to do as much volunteerism this year,” he said. “We have been able to help the Lord’s Cupboard and we did Meals on Wheels, but not those typical park cleanup and community cleanups that we really enjoy doing.”

He said CJ does have items like sanitizer, disinfectant and masks that the company is willing to donate.

“We have just been trying to help out as much as we can,” Palmer said. “We bought about $5,000 worth of local gift cards and handed them out to first responders and frontline workers. It’s been a tough year, we just want to help as much as we can.”

So far this year, Palmer said the company has handed out 30,000 masks to employees, community and schools.

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