The City of Bakersfield is happy to have helped a pair of locally-owned restaurants donate thousands of masks to other local organizations during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The state is starting to allow businesses to begin re-opening and offer services again - even at a limited level - as the state's economy emerges from the stay-at-home order. One of the requirements in order for many businesses to re-open is to have employees wear masks.
Because of the demand nationwide, even simple masks have been difficult for some employers to acquire quickly and affordably. That limited availability has been felt in Bakersfield as well.
In an effort to alleviate some of that pressure, on Monday, June 1, the owners of the Northwest Shoyu Sushi restaurant donated 3,500 masks to the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce to distribute to local businesses and non-profit organizations. The Northeast Shoyu Sushi restaurant also donated $2,000 to the Bakersfield Homeless Center.
"We love the City, we love Bakersfield," said Sam Son, spokesperson for Shoyu Sushi. "We wanted to give back to the City and to help others who don't have access to these masks."
The owners originally reached out to the City of Bakersfield, through Ward 3 Council member Ken Weir, to offer the masks for first responders, such as police and fire crews.
The City was extremely grateful for the offer, but because it has access to enough masks for those employees, the City coordinated a partnership between Shoyu Sushi, the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Kern Community Foundation.
The Chambers will be able to identify businesses and organizations in need of masks, especially in order to meet re-opening requirements.
The City thanks the owners of both Shoyu Sushi restaurants for their generosity and willingness to help others during this difficult time.