Irwindale McDonald's workers make hundreds of face masks

A team of workers at a McDonald's in Irwindale got together to turn the dining area into a small mask-making factory.
IRWINDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- Facing a nationwide scarcity of face masks, a team of workers at a McDonald's in Irwindale found that the supply they needed was as close as their kitchen.

Fry cooks and servers were recruited to transform part of the store into a mini mask-making factory.

"We got together in the store. We set it up. We got the machines, got it all together so we could start right away," says the restaurant's general manager Almendra Duran.

The dining area was already closed to customers so there was space for several sewing machines and physical distancing.

"We started putting all the resources together. We can do this. We faced a little bit of challenges at the beginning but we were determined to get this done," says Mariam Gobrial, director of operations.

An initial challenge was finding enough fabric. Twelve stores needed masks. The call went out to all crew members asking for any volunteer who could sew.

Maria Gomez was the high producer.

"We have a thousand employees and we wanted to give two masks to each employee," says Duran.

They say there's been a bonus in creating their own solution which is a measure of empowerment.

"It is something I love doing. And when it came to this, being able to help, that's even more tremendous about it," says crew member Patricia Duran.
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