Free face mask distribution underway in 27610 zip code where there is 2nd highest number of COVID-19 cases within the state

Wednesday, July 8, 2020
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An initiative is underway to ultimately distribute 100,000 face masks to the 27610 zip code, or a portion of southeast Raleigh, which has the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases within the state.

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Delores Tabron thanked volunteers for her free mask at a distribution site along New Bern Avenue in Raleigh on Wednesday afternoon. Tabron just received radiation for her breast cancer treatment three weeks ago.

"I think it's awesome because we need them for the protection," Tabron said.

The North Carolina A. Philip Randolph Institute organized this distribution, as part of an initiative between Wake County, WakeMed, Raleigh and partner organizations to give out masks in the 27610 zip code, which has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Wake County.

The initiative, which has been underway for nearly two weeks, is to ultimately distribute 100,000 masks.

RELATED: WakeMed, community partners to distribute 10,000 masks, will focus on 27610 zip code where there is a high number of cases

"Anything you can do for a community of color that's poor, it helps," said Wayne Bostick, President of the North Carolina A. Philip Randolph Institute, Inc. "You have to think about either buying a mask or buying some food for your family to eat or just keeping the lights on in your home so money is always an issue in poor communities and a mask costs."

Juanita Bridges lives in the 27610 zip code and picked up some of the free masks. She said she'll probably give some of her masks away.

"I think it's important," Bridges said. "I give them out myself to people because you want to protect yourself and other people also."

The 27610 zip code is also the zip code with the second-highest number of cases in the state. More than 8,000 masks have already been donated as part of the initiative.

Leftover masks from Wednesday's event will be given out, while supplies last, at North Carolina A. Philip Randolph Institute food pantry located at 1408 Hillsborough Street from Monday to Friday 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Saturday, Raleigh Police will be giving out 4,000 more masks.

For more information on the Saturday giveaway, check here: