Amalgamated Sugar Donates 2,000 Masks

Published online: May 13, 2020 News
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Amalgamated Sugar has donated 2,000 cloth masks to the Boise Rescue Mission Ministries.

“We are proud to be a part of the Treasure Valley and to make a donation that will help ensure the safety and wellbeing of our local community members.” says Amalgamated Sugar director of safety Mike Shuey.

“At the Rescue Mission, we are taking every possible measure to keep our guests and staff safe and reduce the risk of infection from COVID-19,” says Rev. Bill Roscoe, president and CEO of Boise Rescue Mission Ministries. “Amalgamated Sugar’s generous gift of 2,000 face masks provides a timely resource that is so appreciated.”

Since food processing is considered a critical infrastructure industry by the Department of Homeland Security, Amalgamated has maintained normal operations at factories, warehouses and other locations while implementing required social distancing.

“To remain safe in our operations, 16,000 masks were ordered from various suppliers,” says Scott Winn, Amalgamated’s vice president of operations. 

When delivery dates were delayed due to high demand, Amalgamated decided to start producing cloth masks. Employees began using four industrial sewing machines typically used in the company’s beet sugar quality lab to sew 7,500 masks.

“While making masks is very different than the sample bags these sewing machines are typically used for, our employees really stepped up to fill this need,” says Amalgamated Nampa agriculture manager Greg Dean, who oversaw the effort.

By the time the mask orders had arrived, Amalgamated had produced most of the masks necessary for normal operations. In a gesture of community support, the decision was made to donate the extra masks to those in need.

“I am amazed at their kindness and generosity to the Rescue Mission as we continue to serve people through very difficult circumstances,” says Roscoe. “Thanks to community partners like this, not a single person in our facilities to date has tested positive for the virus.”

Left to right: Greg Dean, Amalgamated Sugar Nampa district agriculture manager; Rev. Bill Seale, Boise Rescue Mission Ministries donor relationship manager; and Mike Shuey, Amalgamated Sugar director of safety