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Want a free N95 mask? Here’s a list of companies distributing them 

Janet Nguyen Feb 4, 2022
Store are rolling out free N95 masks for the public, limited to three per customer and while supplies last. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Want a free N95 mask? Here’s a list of companies distributing them 

Janet Nguyen Feb 4, 2022
Store are rolling out free N95 masks for the public, limited to three per customer and while supplies last. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

This story was updated on Feb. 7 at 12:15 p.m. Eastern time.

Nationwide grocery retailers, including Kroger and Albertsons, have started distributing free N95 masks to the public provided by the federal government.

The Biden administration is planning to make a total of 400 million free N95 masks available, drawing them from the national strategic stockpile. Many companies that are part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Partnership are participating.

Well-fitting respirators approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health — including N95s — provide “the highest level of protection,” according to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Masks are limited to three per person. Here’s a list of companies from the federal partnership that are distributing masks or planning to, while supplies last: 

Albertsons Companies (including Osco, Jewel-Osco, Albertsons, Albertsons Market, Safeway, Tom Thumb, Star Market, Shaw’s, Haggen, Acme, Randalls, Carrs, Market Street, United Supermarkets, Vons, Pavilions, Amigos, Lucky, Pak ’N Save, Sav-on)

Spokesperson Jessica Keener said that Albertsons began distributing N95 masks at company stores last week. 

Some locations from subsidiaries such as Acme, Amigos, Market Street, Pavilions, Randalls, Star Market Pharmacy, Tom Thumb, Safeway (which also has pharmacies in Pak ‘N Save markets) and Vons confirmed that they’re distributing masks. 

However, some of these subsidiary locations have said they have not received masks or are awaiting shipment.  

CPESN USA, LLC

Troy Trygstad, the executive director for the Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network, told Marketplace that masks started shipping to some of its pharmacies earlier this week, although not all locations are able to participate. CPESN is a network of more than 3,500 pharmacies throughout the U.S. 

You can find out if there’s a CPESN pharmacy near you using its search tool here

CVS Pharmacy

N95 masks will be available at select CVS pharmacies, according to spokesperson Matt Blanchette.

“Inventory has begun arriving at these stores and pharmacies, and will continue on a rolling basis as additional supply becomes available,” Blanchette said. 

Good Neighbor Pharmacy and AmerisourceBergen Drug

AmerisourceBergen is helping more than 2,000 pharmacies across the country distribute masks, according to spokesperson Francesca Gunning. 

An Armitage Pharmacy customer in Chicago picks up her free N95 masks. Armitage is part of the Good Neighbor Pharmacy network. (Courtesy Francesca Gunning)

Of those stores, 1,600 belong to the Good Neighbor network of independent community pharmacies. These pharmacies also administer COVID-19 vaccines (you can find a location here).

“I would say that patients of Good Neighbor pharmacies can call their local store and see if they have the masks available,” Gunning wrote over email. 

Gunning added that the company is also helping distribute masks to some CPESN and GeriMed pharmacies. 

“Our expectation is that we’ll receive just over 6 million masks by the end of next week,” Gunning said. “We’ll stagger those shipments over the next couple of weeks as to not overwhelm the pharmacies and our courier network.” 

H-E-B

The supermarket chain, which has hundreds of locations throughout Texas, began distributing masks last Friday, the Houston Chronicle reported. A store locator is available here

Hy-Vee

Hy-Vee, a chain of grocery stores in the Midwest, began distributing N95 masks two weeks ago and has made them available at all of its pharmacies. The company has more than 275 pharmacy locations in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin. 

Spokesperson Tina Potthoff said Thursday that the company has received a second batch of masks that it will distribute. 

Kroger Co. and subsidiaries

Kroger spokesperson Kristal Howard said the company has “started to receive allocation in cities across the country” and is distributing masks. 

Local news reports also confirm that subsidiaries — such as Harris Teeter, Fred Meyer, Smith’s Food and Drug and Fry’s — have begun providing these masks. 

Meijer

Supermarket chain Meijer is distributing N95 masks at all of its stores, which are located in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. 

“The N95 masks will be in boxes set on a table near the Meijer Greeter stand of the grocery entrance. The Greeter, who will be wearing gloves, will place the N95 masks in piles of three for the customers to take,” Meijer said in a news release. 

Meijer spokesperson Sonny Franks Miller said over email that “all Meijer supercenters received an additional batch of masks this week and have either already begun distributing them in the last couple days or will begin distributing them shortly (depending on the timing of receipt).”

Publix  

Publix spokesperson Jared Glover said the company is gearing up to distribute N95 masks. 

“N95 masks will start shipping to our stores this weekend and arrive throughout the coming week,” Glover wrote over email. 

Publix has stores in the Southeast, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. 

Giant Food (a part of Retail Business Services) 

Giant Food spokesperson Daniel Wolk said that masks will be available on Friday at 36 of its locations. A full list of these stores — which are located in Delaware, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. —  is available in this spreadsheet.

Wolk said Giant Food distributed the limited number of masks it received as equitably as possible. “We are working with [the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services] and the government to procure more masks for distribution,” Wolk added.

Hannaford Bros. Co. (a part of Retail Business Services) 

Spokesperson Ericka Dodge said that nearly a third of its pharmacies in the five states that it operates in will receive “a very limited supply of N95 masks,” or about 600 per location. Stores are located in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York. 

Participating stores, listed in this spreadsheet, are expected to begin distributing masks in the near future.

Rite Aid 

Free N95 masks are now available at its stores, the company announced on its website.

Southeastern Grocers (Winn-Dixie, Harveys Supermarket, Fresco Y Más)

Southeastern Grocers spokesperson Meredith Hurley said all Winn-Dixie, Harveys Supermarket and Fresco y Más in-store pharmacies had masks available as of Monday. These stores are located in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. 

Hurley said Southeastern Grocers is planning to distribute more than 2 million N95 masks. 

Walgreens and Duane Reade (located in New York) 

Walgreens has already started to provide free N95 masks and recently posted a list of store locations where you can find one.

“Masks have been sent to the first wave of stores and will roll out into additional stores in the coming days and weeks,” the company said in a press release. It expects all participating stores to receive a supply of N95 masks by mid-February. 

“While some stores have received them already, this remains a rolling launch over the coming days and weeks,” Walgreens spokesperson Karen May said over email. “Walgreens will frequently update its N95 mask program store locator as stores receive their shipments. We expect several of our Duane Reade stores to participate in our N95 mask distribution program and ask customers to continue to check our store locator for availability.” 

Walmart and Sam’s Club

Walmart spokesperson Ashley Nolan said that some Walmart stores already have N95 masks, and most should carry them soon.

“We anticipate masks will be available by the second week of February at the front of more than 5,100 Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs across the country,” Nolan said.

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