Ohio’s foodbanks employ and serve people who are often in high risk populations for developing COVID-19 because of age or health conditions. So, wearing face masks or coverings is recommended but it also causes some problems.
Many food banks require face masks, including the ones operated by The New Path in Southwest Ohio. Executive Director Bill Lutz says it’s a mandate for all staff, even though wearing them isn’t easy.
“We have to require folks to move boxes or move pallets of food and many of our volunteers are older and it’s very difficult to require them to do the work we are asking them to do while wearing a mask," Lutz says.
Lutz says his food banks have come up with some ways to make it easier. Everyone is given a 15-minute break outside or in a well-ventilated room, by themselves, where they can remove their masks and get fresh air. He says he’s also separated people into different isolated areas and projects where they are not around others.