New World Development, parent of the K11 malls across Greater China, has launched 35 vending machines dispensing free face masks in Hong Kong.
Partnering with eight non-government organisations, the group has placed the smart vending machines across 18 districts in Hong Kong. The “Mask To Go” machines will dispense free face masks in Hong Kong that have been designed, produced and manufactured locally by the group. New World Development currently has two local mask production lines and will open two more next month with a target of making 7 million face masks.
As the number of Covid-19 cases continues to rise globally in addition to Hong Kong’s second wave of imported and locally transmitted cases, Adrian Cheng, executive vice-chairman of New World Development finds the cause close to heart: “Medical face masks are an essential protective tool in our fight against Covid-19… It is heart-breaking to see so many people suffer because they simply cannot afford or get a hold of masks, which have become so costly and scarce”.
The group had previously also donated HK$10 million to establish a ‘Community Anti-Epidemic’ fund offering more than 2 million masks and 10,000 hygiene kits to low-income families in Hong Kong.
The NGOs will provide contactless redemption cards specifically for disadvantaged and low-income groups in the community such as the elderly, disabled and children. The scheme is expected to benefit more than 40,000 people in the community. Consumers can also download a mobile app and register on it to eliminate queueing and reduce touchpoints. Each consumer will be able to retrieve a free pack of five masks every week and is expected to run its course over the next 10 weeks. Any extension of the programme will be determined after monitoring the pandemic’s impact and spread before more NGOs are invited to participate.
Previously, New World Development launched a CSR campaign #LoveWithoutBorders donating RMB50 million and 5.5 million masks to partners and local communities in Asia and Europe. Additionally the group has sourced, delivered and donated 2.5 million masks to partners in South Korea, France, Italy and the UK, distributed through local embassies and consulates.