Hershey Spends $1M to Open Mask Manufacturing Line

April 27, 2020

4 Min Read
Hershey Spends $1M to Open Mask Manufacturing Line
Hershey is opening a new production line for face masks in response to PPE shortages created by the coronavirus crisis. Image courtesy of Pixabay

American chocolate manufacturer Hershey Company is kicking off a $1 million project to purchase and install a new manufacturing line for face masks in response to a nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic, a company release announced Friday. Once operational, the new asset will be capable of producing some 45,000 masks per day. 

“Supporting our communities in difficult times is part of our legacy, and an important value our current employees share,” Hershey Company President and Chief Executive Officer Michelle Buck said in a statement. “From building projects that created jobs during the Great Depression, to producing military rations during World War II, we take great pride in making a difference where we can.”

The company said it is using its existing engineering capabilities and its relationships with equipment firm JR Automation and automaker General Motors to accomplish the project. 

“Disposable masks will be an integral piece of protecting the health and safety of our employees, their families, and our community as we move forward over the weeks and months ahead,” Jason Reiman, chief supply chain officer, said in the release. “Changing how we work, and adding this capability, is a testament to the adaptability of our team, and our desire to make a difference.”

Hershey’s new mask line is expected to be operational next month. 

Last week, the company withdrew its full year financial outlook for fiscal year 2020 due to instability in the global food and beverage market caused by the coronavirus outbreak. 

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