2020 was a challenging year. We know that many of you, as well as many in our communities, faced the trials of this pandemic – the vulnerability of working families, the isolation and separation from family, the economic hardship, and the loss of loved ones and friends.
At the same time, we saw the strength of our society. We saw hundreds of thousands of people speaking up and speaking out for racial justice. We saw communities come together collectively in mutual aid efforts to care for our neighbors and friends, sharing food, resources, and more during the pandemic. We saw the strength of a movement for new national leadership that ultimately has given us some new possibilities for seeking justice in 2021. We should feel heartened by what is possible when we come together in community!
We are excited to share with you some of what we were able to achieve in 2020 with YOUR support, and we believe that 2021 holds promise for even greater strides forward in achieving dignity and respect for the immigrant community.
Farmworkers were identified early in the pandemic as particularly vulnerable. As essential workers, they worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to bring food to our tables while putting their health and safety at risk.
In South Jersey, CATA organized socially distanced outreach
throughout the season talking to
farmworkers, sharing their stories, and making sure they had access to necessary resources and information.
CATA’s Organic Community Garden in Bridgeton, NJ thrived during the pandemic, bringing a source of fresh produce to the immigrant community at a time when fresh food was scarce for some families.
We installed a drip irrigation system for more sustainable water use, held biweekly market days with produce from the garden, and donated many pounds of organic produce to food banks and donations. The Bridgeton Community Garden grew almost 1000 lbs. of organic produce this season.
CATA’s community radio station, RadioCATA, became an important source of information for the Latino community during the pandemic, sharing information with the community on COVID-19, social supports and resources, state and federal assistance available, worker health and safety, and worker’s right during the pandemic.
Through a generous grant, we were also able to upgrade some of the equipment and rebuild the studio space, strengthening our capacity as a community radio station.
This year, after seeing so much financial need in the undocumented community, who have been excluded and left out of almost all federal pandemic relief programs and don’t qualify for unemployment, CATA created the Undocumented Solidarity Fund to provide economic assistance to undocumented immigrants in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.
Through generous donations from supporters and foundations, CATA fundraised over $185,000 that has been distributed to more than 200 individuals and families so far.
CATA members, many essential workers, have continued to advocate this year for their rights as people, immigrants, and workers, fighting for access to driver’s licenses in Pennsylvania, stronger pandemic health and safety regulations for all workers and specifically for protections for farmworkers in New Jersey and Maryland, economic relief for the undocumented community, and a fair implementation of the New Jersey standard driver’s license law.