We broke the information that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has announced that the company will produce and donate more than a million face masks for first responders and health care workers. While the company is joining thousands of other companies to manufacture goods to help fight the COVID-19 (or Coronavirus) crisis, this morning FCA announced it is expanding its program of measures to support COVID-19 relief efforts.
FCA is working in partnership with non-profit organizations and foundations who are providing food to children until school returns to session. Starting immediately, FCA will provide more than 1 million meals to school-age children in the communities around its principal manufacturing plants in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. The program will then be extended nationwide in the United States and then to Canada and Mexico, supporting similar relief efforts for kids who would normally access school meal services.
Currently, FCA is in the process of converting its first plant to produce face masks. The first machinery has been delivered and installed with supply and donation coming on stream in the coming weeks. The company will invest to extend that production capacity to other plants and ultimately donate masks to first responders and health care workers across the world. Drawing on experience from the company’s engineering and logistics team in Italy who are assisting a local ventilator manufacturer, FCA is engaged with other companies producing ventilators and other much needed medical equipment and PPE.
“There has never been a more important moment to help children and their families with vital needs in our communities than during this time of great uncertainty,” said FCA CEO Mike Manley. “In this time of need, we’ve focused our resources on those actions we can implement quickly and that will have the greatest impact, as we did in Italy as soon as the emergency started,” added Manley.
The news comes only a few hours after the United Auto Workers (UAW) union announced that yet another of its UAW-FCA employees has passed away due to complications from the COVID-19 virus. It makes a total of four UAW-FCA employees in the past week who have died from issues relating to the virus.