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Harmons gives away masks they didn’t even know they had

SALT LAKE CITY — You know when you find a $20 you left in a coat pocket last year?

This story is like that, except on a much larger and potentially more important scale.

The Chief Operating Officer of Harmons Grocery Stores says they found thousands of medical masks in their warehouse, which have been given to Utah healthcare workers.

Mark Jensen told KSL News radio the masks were purchased in 2006 in preparation for a natural disaster.

“We bought two pallets of N-95 masks to have on hand, in case there was ever an earthquake and it caused lots of damage and the people working in our stores would have to put the stores back together,” Jensen said.

The masks were stored in a 55-thousand square foot warehouse in West Valley. They were found by employees doing maintenance work.

“The first thing we thought about was that we should donate these,” said Jensen, “just give them away.”

He got in touch with Utah Lt. Governor Spencer Cox who is running Utah’s Coronavirus Task Force and told Cox that Harmons would like to donate the masks.

Lt. Gov. Cox assured Jensen that the task force would find a good use for them. The pallets were donated on Wednesday, and Jensen says that the 15-thousand masks will be in the hands of health care workers by Monday.

Employees of Harmons are currently wearing masks while they serve the public as an essential business. But Jensen says they are wearing cloth masks, not the hospital-grade masks like the N-95s.

Listen to Lindsay Aerts’ report below:


KSL Newsradio anchor, reporter, and host Lindsay Aerts contributed to this story.