SUDBURY --  Roughly 500 pounds of hand sanitizer was recently donated to Health Sciences North by the Georgian Bay Spirit Co., a company better known for making gin and flavoured coolers.

In response to the COVID pandemic, the company says it shifted production away from its usual product line, and have manufactured around 25,000 bottles of hand sanitizer over the past few weeks.

"We stopped making all of our spirits," said Georgian Bay CEO Denzil Wadds. "It's a very simple recipe -- we used the World Health Organization recipe -- and we got our licence from Health Canada, so it's all approved."

Picking Sudbury for the donation was an easy choice, Wadds said, since they were targeting communities outside of southern Ontario.

"We wanted to donate something to an area that doesn't have the profile of Mount Sinai, for example, the bigger hospitals," said Wadds.

"So I sent a note to our entire staff and said, 'We are looking to donate to areas in need that are north of Toronto,' and one of the first places that got back to us was Tony with the Sudbury hospital," a reference to Anthony Keating, president of Health Sciences North Foundation.

HSN officials said the donation will go a long way and will be divvied up across its sites in the north.

"Hand sanitizer is obviously a very important product in our hospitals, for our patients and for our frontline healthcare workers," Keating said. "This is an incredibly important donation and this will be used very quickly and very effectively so we're really happy."

Georgian Bay Spirit says it has donated hand sanitizer to 60 organizations so far, and another 100 cases will be delivered across the province within the next couple of weeks.