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Do you know how to sew? Join Betsy Kling in making masks for the Cleveland Food Bank

10,000 washable masks are needed, to protect the employees and volunteers in the food bank's giant distribution network

CLEVELAND —

To our viewers across Northeast Ohio who know how to sew: We need your help.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to help Betsy Kling and wkyc studios gather 10,000 washable face masks to help the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.

We’re taking on this project because the food bank needs the community’s support to protect its employees and volunteers as Ohio’s stay-at-home order is gradually lifted.

Cleveland’s huge distribution network of pantries, hot meal sites and feeding programs for children, families and seniors is beginning to fire back up, leaving the food bank’s leaders greatly concerned about how they will find and provide enough masks to protect the workers and volunteers who keep the sites running efficiently.

Food bank spokeswoman Karen Pozna told 3News that at least 10,000 reusable masks are needed -- for  workers at the 800 food distribution sites that are presently open and for those who staff the 200 additional programs that will be coming back online soon. Also, masks are needed for the food bank’s army of volunteers who have been sidelined since the pandemic began. Soon, she said, volunteers will be allowed “back in the building to pack, sort and help us get food out the door,” and the food bank wants to make sure they’re properly protected too.

There’s “sew” much to be done that 3News is pitching in to help.

We’re putting out a call for donations of washable masks – and if you have sewing know-how, we want you to join us. Homemade masks are embraced and encouraged.

Chief Meteorologist Betsy Kling has already started cranking masks out in her basement sewing room, but we’ll need a great many more volunteers to meet the need for 10,000 by the end of May.

Here’s how to donate completed masks:

  • Mail or drop them off at Greater Cleveland Food Bank, 15500 South Waterloo Rd., Cleveland OH 44110 Attention: Kevin Grissinger. Drop-offs can be made Monday through Friday, 8 am-3:30 pm.
  • Or drop off masks at the lobby of wkyc studios, 1333 Lakeside Ave., downtown Cleveland.
  • If you're looking for supplies, head to pinsandneedles.com.

Are you donating 250 or more? Please let us know! Send an email to 3cares@wkyc.com