The UFW Foundation announced that workers could receive $ 500 per person and up to $ 1,000 per family.
A new window of emergency financial aid for undocumented peasant workers is now open, announced the United Farm Workers Foundation (UFW).
The Essential Farmworker Project is funded by private sources for farmworker workers affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Undocumented farmworkers in California, Washington and Oregon will have the opportunity to receive $ 500 prepaid cards if they meet certain requirements. A maximum of two cards will be issued per household.
It is estimated that in the United States there are around 2.5 million peasants and more than one million are undocumented. In California, it is estimated that there are around 400,000 peasants, of which 60% to 75% are undocumented.
Leydy Rangel, a spokesperson for the UFW, said the farmers who qualify include dairy farmers, nursery workers, greenhouses and packaging. Applicants must be over 18 years of age and reside in one of the three states listed.
“They have to be completely undocumented, and DACA beneficiaries don’t qualify,” Rangel said.
Diana Tellefson Torres, executive director of the UFW Foundation, said in a statement that undocumented workers who feed the United States have been left out of the federal aid necessary to support their families during the pandemic. However, they continue to risk their lives by continuing to work.
“As the UFW Foundation provides the necessary resources, such as food, masks, and financial assistance to farmworkers during this pandemic, we also continue to advocate at the state and federal levels to ensure they receive essential risk pay, sick day pay, and other benefits they deserve, ”Torres said. “Peasants are always essential and must be treated as such.”
Rangel said that the foundation has received reports that although the peasants have been identified as essential, they have not received the necessary financial aid or the increase in the payment of “hero” that was given to several essential workers in supermarkets and pharmacies, among others. .
“We want to demonstrate that they are important to us, not only during the pandemic but also all the time,” Rangel said.
This help will be especially useful for those workers who are already affected by receiving wages below the poverty line and who live in multi-family homes or have to share a vehicle to travel to work due to the lack of means of transportation. This exposes them daily to COVID-19.
The financial aid program began on July 22 and will continue until funds are exhausted. It is expected to help around 21,500 workers in total.
Additionally, 900,000 skins will be distributed to farmworkers in these three states (California, Oregon, and Washington). During these pandemic months, the UFW has been tasked with distributing hand sanitizers and food pantries.
Rangel indicated that workers receiving these cards must not have received financial assistance related to COVID-19, such as the stimulus checks provided under the CARES Act or the California Disaster Assistance for Immigrants (DRAI).
The spokesperson indicated that it is very important that people give their correct address since the cards will be sent by post.
“This is because COVID cases have increased and for the health of the community and our staff we do not want them to continue to expand,” Rangel said.
People who meet these requirements should call the UFW Foundation at (661) 501-4280 Monday through Thursday from 11:30 am to 7:30 pm and Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm There will be no representatives available on Fridays and saturdays