Food retailers nationwide, including Kroger and Albertsons, have begun distributing free N95 masks to the public provided by the federal government.
The Biden administration plans to make available a total of 400 million free N95 masks, drawing them from the national strategic stockpile. Many companies that are part of Federal Retail Pharmacy Partnership participate.
Properly fitted respirators approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health – including N95s – provide “the highest level of protection”. according to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Masks are limited to three per person. Here is a list of federal partnership businesses that are distributing masks or planning to do so, while supplies last:
Albertsons companies (including Osco, Jewel-Osco, Albertsons, Albertsons Market, Safeway, Tom Thumb, Star Market, Shaw’s, Haggen, Acme, Randalls, Carrs, Market Street, United Supermarkets, Vons, Pavilions, Amigos, Lucky, Pak’ N Save, save)
Spokeswoman Jessica Keener said Albertsons began distributing N95 masks in company stores last week.
Some affiliate sites such as Acme, Amigos, Market Street, Pavilions, Randalls, Star Market Pharmacy, Tom Thumb, Safeway (which also has pharmacies in Pak ‘N Save Markets) and Vons have confirmed they are distributing masks.
However, some of these subsidiary sites said they had not received masks or were awaiting shipment.
CPESN USA, LLC
Troy Trygstad, executive director of the Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network, told Marketplace that masks began shipping to some of his pharmacies earlier this week, although not all locations are able to participate. The CPESN is a network of more than 3,500 pharmacies in the United States
You can find out if there is a CPESN pharmacy near you thanks to its search tool here.
N95 masks will be available at select CVS pharmacies, according to spokesperson Matt Blanchette.
“Inventory has started arriving at these stores and pharmacies, and will continue on an ongoing basis as additional supply becomes available,” Blanchette said.
Good Neighbor Pharmacy and AmerisourceBergen Drug
AmerisourceBergen is helping more than 2,000 pharmacies across the country distribute masks, according to spokeswoman Francesca Gunning.
Of these stores, 1,600 belong to the Bon Voisin network of independent community pharmacies. These pharmacies also administer COVID-19 vaccines (you can find a location here).
“I would say patients at Good Neighbor Pharmacies can call their local store and see if they have the masks available,” Gunning wrote via email.
Gunning added that the company is also helping distribute masks to select CPESN and GeriMed pharmacies.
“We expect to receive just over 6 million masks by the end of next week,” Gunning said. “We will be staggering these shipments over the next two weeks so as not to overwhelm pharmacies and our courier network.”
Hy-Vee, a grocery chain in the Midwest, began distributing N95 masks two weeks ago and made them available at all of its pharmacies. The company has more than 275 pharmacies in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Spokeswoman Tina Potthoff said Thursday the company has received a second batch of masks that it will distribute.
Kroger Co. and Subsidiaries
Kroger spokesman Kristal Howard said the company had “begun receiving stipends in cities across the country” and was handing out masks.
The supermarket chain Meijer distributes N95 masks in all of its stores, located in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.
“The N95 masks will be in boxes on a table near the Meijer Greeter stand at the entrance to the grocery store. The Greeter, who will be wearing gloves, will place the N95 masks in stacks of three for customers to pick up,” Meijer said. in a press release.
Meijer spokesperson Sonny Franks Miller said via email that “all Meijer supercenters received an additional batch of masks this week and have either already started distributing them over the past two days or will start distribute them shortly (depending on the time of receipt)”.
Publix spokesman Jared Glover said the company is preparing to distribute N95 masks.
“N95 masks will begin shipping to our stores this weekend and will arrive throughout the coming week,” Glover wrote via email.
Publix has shops in the southeastincluding Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
Giant Food (part of Retail Business Services)
Giant Food spokesman Daniel Wolk said masks will be available Friday at 36 of its locations. A full list of these stores – located in Delaware, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC – is available at this spreadsheet.
Wolk said Giant Food distributed the limited number of masks it received in the fairest way possible. “We work with [the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services] and the government to procure more masks to distribute,” Wolk added.
Free N95 Masks are now available in its stores, the company announced on its website.
Southeast Grocers (Winn-Dixie, Harveys Supermarket, Fresco Y Más)
Southeastern Grocers spokeswoman Meredith Hurley said all Winn-Dixie, Harveys Supermarket and Fresco y Más in-store pharmacies have masks available starting Monday. These stores are located in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Hurley said Southeastern Grocers plans to distribute more than 2 million N95 masks.
Walgreens and Duane Reade (located in New York)
Walgreens has already started providing free N95 masks and recently released a list of store locations where you can find one.
“Masks have been sent to the first wave of stores and will be rolled out to additional stores in the days and weeks to come,” the company said in a press release. He expects all participating stores receive a supply of N95 masks in mid-February.
“While some stores have already received them, this remains a rolling rollout over the next few days and weeks,” Walgreens spokeswoman Karen May said via email. “Walgreens will frequently update its N95 mask program store locator as stores receive their shipments. We expect many of our Duane Reade stores to participate in our N95 mask distribution program and ask customers to continue to check our store locator for availability. »
Walmart and Sam’s Club
Walmart spokeswoman Ashley Nolan said some Walmart stores already have N95 masks and most are expected to wear them soon.
“We expect the masks to be available by the second week of February on the front of more than 5,100 Walmart and Sam’s Clubs stores across the country,” Nolan said.