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Free masks distributed thanks to local partnerships


May 20, 2020
MEREDITH — Local people had the opportunity to get some free face masks thanks to a generous donation from the Common Man and volunteer efforts by the Meredith Rotary.

A Common Man trolley with its own mask on was set up in the parking lot of Inter-Lakes Middle/High School on Saturday and Sunday where people could drive up and get bundles of washable masks with disposable masks. The event was made possible by Mask Up New Hampshire and volunteer efforts by the Meredith Rotary.

Mask Up New Hampshire is a partnership between the Common Man restaurants and the New Hampshire Rotary Clubs to distribute free face masks to people around the state. Alex Ray of the Common Man bought 67,000 washable masks to distribute around the state through the local Rotary Clubs. Members of the Rotary Clubs in each community will set up drive-up stations with Common Man trolleys where people can come and pick up masks.

Jeanie Forrester from the Meredith Rotary said Ray contacted her and asked if the Meredith Rotary would be interested in doing this. The Meredith Rotary got more than 3,000 masks to distribute.

"It's fabulous what he did," said Theresa Forbes of the Meredith Rotary.

Volunteers set up a station in a Common Man trolley in the parking lot of Inter-Lakes Middle/High School on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Cars were directed to drive up to the trolley where volunteers asked how many people were in their household. The volunteers then gave an appropriate number of mask bundles with a special reach tool through the driver's side window. People were also asked for donations to Mask Up NH through a box connected on a long pole.

Forbes said the volunteers worked in shifts from throughout the weekend.

The event drew quite a few people on Saturday, Sunday was a bit slower but people were still driving through.

"It's been a steady stream all day and people have been appreciative," Forrester said.

Forbes also said people coming by throughout the weekend greatly appreciated this service.

"People are very grateful, which is nice to see," Forbes said. "I think there are people who are in need and don't know where to go."

For more information on "Mask Up, New Hampshire" and future dates for mask distribution visit https://www.maskupnh.com/.

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