Face mask sales benefit food bank

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A Salt Spring woman is using her sewing skills and compassionate heart to create quality face masks, while also raising funds for the Salt Spring Food Bank.

“It’s really astonishing,” said Toby Fouks on Friday, noting that just over $1,900 had already been amassed from the project, which sees $15 donated from every $20 mask sale.

Fouks started making masks just to give them to Salt Spring Island Community Services for staff, volunteers and clients, but once enough masks were made for that purpose she didn’t want to stop, so she shifted her focus to benefit the food bank.

She recently stipulated that funds should be dispensed through the farmers market coupon program. That means food bank users can access healthy, locally grown food, which also benefits island food producers.

Fouks’ washable masks are fitted in the “Olson style,” and have a copper wire in the seam so it can be shaped around the nose and prevent eyeglass fogging. The inside of the mask has a pocket for an included washable filter made from viscose bamboo. Fouks says that material has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties and is hypo-allergenic.

Some of the masks have elastic loops that slip over the wearer’s ears, while others use ties, which she says facilitates better snugness adjustment.

Fouks is grateful to Charlotte Thompson, Joy Longley and Donna Johnstone for donations of fabric and elastic.

“I’ve gone through a huge amount of fabric,” she said.

If people want to purchase a face mask made by Fouks to benefit the food bank they should email Community Services at connect@ssics.ca.

“I do think that as things open up and people travel more they will see a need to wear masks,” she said.

Fouks also has fabric printed withs paws and bones, which she uses to make bandannas for dogs and cats and sells in the Saturday market along with her gourmet pet treats. She is considering using that fabric for mask making and directing the proceeds from those sales to the Salt Spring branch of the BC SPCA.

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