Meijer began handing out free N95 masks to shoppers on Monday, becoming one of the first major retail chains to do so under a Biden administration initiative.
The Michigan-based company and many other retailers registered with the COVID-19 Vaccination Federal Retail Pharmacy Partnership are receiving an allocation of masks to distribute to the public in the coming days.
A total of 400 million face masks from the strategic national stock are being sent to retailers and health centers across the country and are expected to be distributed starting this week.
Meijer said in a statement that he received around three million masks, which will be available to anyone who needs them.
The masks will be located in boxes on a table near the entrance to the grocery store, the company said in a press release. A Meijer host, who will be wearing gloves, will place the N95 masks in piles of three for customers to pick up.
Meijer isn’t the only chain in the Midwest to start handing out masks.
Des-Moines-based Hy-Vee, which operates more than a dozen stores in Illinois, said the majority of its locations in the state have received shipments of N95 masks and have begun distribution.
All 275 Hy-Vee pharmacies will receive their mask allocation by the middle of the week, a company spokeswoman said.