Kaiser Permanente’s Donated Supplies Keep Community Organizations Pandemic-Ready

Originally published at about.kaiserpermanente.org. Kaiser Permanente is a Hall of Fame company.

 

When REACH Academy principal Natasha Moore saw the first of three pallets of pandemic cleaning and safety supplies delivered to her East Oakland public school in December 2021, she felt like shouting for joy. The school serves transitional kindergartners through fifth graders in a ZIP code hard-hit by COVID-19 infections.

“To see the boxes of wipes, industrial wipes, and hand sanitizer, and just reflecting on how vital these supplies are to our school. These are lifesaving,” Moore said. “And to see that our school is a priority, it feels amazing. I’m just really grateful.”

The University of San Diego decided to use its donation to support not only students and staff but also the local community. The school distributed disinfectants, hand sanitizer and protective face masks to 80 local small businesses and organizations, including child care facilities, churches, Little League programs, school districts, charter schools and fitness studios.

“If a student forgets a mask, we’re able to issue them one for class. But we’re also getting needed supplies into the hands of our neighbors,” said Christopher Shtino, Senior Procurement Agent at University of San Diego. “The donation has made our campus and the community safer.”

In 2021, Kaiser Permanente donated more than $28 million worth of personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies to organizations and schools in California, Oregon and Washington. The largest chunk of those supplies — $22 million worth — went to SupplyBank.org, a nonprofit that distributes critical supplies to people and community organizations that need them.

Personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies are important tools that schools, homeless shelters and community organizations can use to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Using these supplies can help protect the physical and mental health of students, staff, people experiencing homelessness and community members.

“The pandemic is now in its third year, and many schools, businesses and organizations are struggling with the ongoing cost of purchasing PPE and sanitizing supplies,” said Stephanie Ledesma, interim Senior Vice President of Community Health Programs for Kaiser Permanente. “These donations support our communities in preventing the spread of COVID-19, and we’re grateful that they’re helping to alleviate a financial burden as well.”

Community health grants in 2021

Our pandemic cleaning and safety supply donations are part of the overall work we do every year to improve the health of our communities.

In 2021, we also committed more than $205 million in grant funding to community-based organizations. Following are some examples of efforts that our grants support:

  • Encourage COVID-19 vaccination in Black and Latino communities
  • Offer year-round, tuition-free college preparatory programs for under-resourced youth who aspire to be the first in their families to attend college
  • Expand small business grants and loans program, training and technical assistance for women-owned, minority-owned, veteran-owned and rural businesses

Learn more about our commitment to community health and the range of programs we’re involved in that serve our communities, including Medicaidcharitable health coveragemedical financial assistance and medical research.