Coca-Cola teams up with supply chain partners and a nationwide network of makers to produce and distribute thousands of protective face shields to healthcare workers and first responders on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis in Maryland. COURTESY PHOTO

In partnership with Maryland Department of Commerce and Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), Coca-Cola North America and several partners recently delivered 25,000 face shields to support healthcare workers at area hospitals and municipal health departments who are caring for patients with COVID-19. An additional 25,000 face shields will be assembled and delivered to Maryland healthcare workers the week of May 11, 2020.

Coca-Cola North America, partnered with MakersRespond and K&W Finishing to donate several thousand pounds of recyclable PET plastic to produce the face shields. Once the face shields were manufactured and packaged, Coca-Cola Consolidated, the nation’s largest Coca-Cola bottler, delivered the equipment to the State of Maryland.

“We’re incredibly grateful for the generosity of The Coca-Cola Company to help us scale our production capability and to donate materials needed to make face shields for frontline healthcare workers in need,” said Bill Schongar, executive director, MakersRespond, and president, MakeIt Labs. “Together, MakersRespond and The Coca-Cola Company are bringing considerable resources to bear at both a national and local level.”

The 25,000 face shields produced by Baltimore-based K&W Finishing, a local company specializing in quality printing such as traditional die cutting, coating, and other bindery services, were delivered to a warehouse in Columbia, Maryland, and will be distributed in the following weeks to area hospitals and municipal health departments based upon need.

K&W Finishing is one of more than 40 Maryland companies to receive a grant through the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund, which was created by Maryland Commerce to incentivize local companies to produce Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). While K&W Finishing doesn’t traditionally produce PPE, the company was able to quickly pivot their operations to make the face shields.

“This partnership exemplifies the kind of innovative thinking that is most needed right now to ensure our frontline healthcare workers have necessary protective equipment to care for patients,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. “I want to thank Coca-Cola, MakersRespond and K&W Finishing for working together to help us save lives and flatten the curve.”

Community stewardship is a fundamental part of Coca-Cola North America and Coca-Cola Consolidated. During the COVID-19 crisis, both companies have produced and delivered hand sanitizer to their communities and teammates. They have also donated beverage products, supported underserved communities, and donated reusable PET for face shields that have been delivered nationwide.

“At Coca-Cola, we are guided by our purpose to refresh the world and make a difference in all that we do, and we know our impact is greatest when we partner to serve our communities,” said Jim Dinkins, president of Coca-Cola North America. “Together with MakersRespond, we are using our resources, expertise and the scale of our supply chain to provide essential protective equipment to those who are tirelessly working on the frontlines of this crisis.”

This strategic collaboration is one of many ways Coca-Cola teams around the country are finding creative ways to use their manufacturing facilities, supply chains and delivery networks to produce and transport needed medical supplies.

To read more about Coca-Cola’s efforts nationwide, visit: https://bit.ly/3dnfubt.