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CAP-K and Kern County await approval of program that provides masks to low-income families

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Posted at 4:33 PM, Aug 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-14 19:33:30-04

BAKERSFIELD, Cali — CAP-K and Kern County are planning to come together to create sites all around the County to provide masks to those in need.

On August 18th, CAP-K is requesting that the Kern County board of supervisors approve $500,000 from the CARES Act fund to help get the project underway.

“We noticed that a lot of people in low income areas aren’t wearing masks, and we figured that if by chance the issue is that we don’t have the disposable income available to them to purchase masks,”Megan Person, Chief Communications Officer for Kern County, said.

If the $500,000 from the CARES Act fund is approved, the county will start the program by obtaining the masks and protective equipment, while CAP-K will set up sites to distribute supplies

There will be around 23 sites spread out across Kern County, making masks available to as many different areas of the community as possible.

“Kern County has been seeing a lot of community spread with the COVID-19. So, I think it's important to get as many masks out to the public as possible and encourage people to wear them,” Jeremy Tobias, CEO of CAP-K, said.

The program is trying to target those who are considered the "at-risk" population, which includes essential workers and low income families.

“We have clients that are working in grocery stores and fast food restaurants and medical offices and farm workers," Tobias said. "If we'd like to continue operating as a society, we need to keep people working, in these essential functions.”

While the program is targeted towards low income families and workers, the distribution sites will welcome anyone who needs extra help getting COVID protection equipment.

“So many people are worried about putting food on the table right now and paying their rent, we could help alleviate that by just giving them the mask,” Person said.

For right now, the program is still in the working stages and is still awaiting approval by the Board of Supervisors.