A motor oil manufacturer is shifting gears during the coronavirus pandemic to create and donate hand sanitizer to communities in need, including the city of San Diego.
RPP Products Monday donated 250 gallons of hand sanitizer – or 1,000 32-ounce bottles – to the emergency homeless shelter at the San Diego Convention Center. The sanitizer will be used by shelter residents, volunteers and staff working and living in the facility. There are currently 800 homeless locals living at the San Diego Convention Center.
Sanitizer is a hot commodity these days.
The request for the sanitizer was made to the company by the City of San Diego Emergency Operations Center during the COVID-19 crisis.
Local leaders like San Diego County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar and San Diego City Councilmember Chris Ward said the donation is more than the city had asked for – and for this, they are grateful.
In just seven days, the company – which is based out of San Bernardino, California, and normally makes motor oil and lubricants – pivoted its operations and began making FDA-approved hand sanitizer.
Now, the company is able to produce 30,000 gallons of hand sanitizer daily, called Premier Pure. The product is still packaged in the company’s existing motor oil bottles.
The CEO of RPP, Eric Zwigart, is a U.S. Marine veteran and said his company is committed to donating the hand sanitizer to community service facilities that need it most during the pandemic, including homeless shelters and food banks across the country.
Zwigart told NBC 7 the idea to shift his business to help during the COVID-19 crisis came to him while he drove home from Lake Havasu with his twin sons, as he realized there was a serious shortage of sanitizer in stores.
“I hit six different stores and there was no hand sanitizer,” he said. “So, that got the boys asking a million questions with a 10-minute period and it got me thinking, ‘How can I help? How can we get this to consumers?’ And that’s how it started.”