INDIO – The Riverside County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office on Tuesday received a shipment of 50,000 surgical masks from the State of California to protect workers in the Fourth District’s and Riverside County’s agricultural industry.
The Agricultural Commissioner’s office surveyed local growers to collect detailed information regarding the personal protective equipment needs in the agricultural sector. The agency will begin distributing the face coverings to these growers and other members of the agricultural community as supplies permit.
“I want to thank the Riverside County Agricultural Commissioner, Riverside County Emergency Management Department and state agencies for this big success for our agricultural workers and agricultural industry,” said Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “These supplies are foundational to protecting workers, public health and continuity in food production. We will continue to work on these resource requests on behalf of our agricultural workers and the industry to make sure they are adequately protected.”
The California Department of Food and Agriculture worked through the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to procure personal protective equipment. County agricultural commissioner’s offices will serve as the point of contact for distribution to agricultural industry businesses in counties.
“We feel very blessed at Junior Enterprises to be receiving these masks,” said Celeste Alonzo, general manager of Junior Enterprises, LLC. “We have been abiding by CDC guidelines by covering our mouths with bandanas or any cloth materials. By receiving these masks, not only will our workers will feel more comfortable coming to work, but their families will also feel more secure knowing that their loved ones have a stronger barrier. Our workers are what keep our company afloat, so it is our duty to try and protect them as much as we can. I want to thank Supervisor Perez, Agricultural Commissioner Ruben Arroyo, and everyone involved for procuring these masks for our workers.”
An additional amount of nearly 12,000 surgical masks and 500 cloth masks procured by the state are also expected to arrive to the county for the agricultural community.
“I just want to thank our agricultural industry for their efforts to keep food on our tables. Our state departments of agriculture and pesticides are supporting our essential workers in the fields and packinghouses. It is through all their efforts that we received these masks. Additionally, our local county emergency management department was also instrumental in obtaining masks for our agricultural community,” stated Riverside County Agricultural Commissioner Ruben Arroyo.