Providing Much-Needed Relief: Getting Pandemic Aid to Farmworkers
Over the past several months, we have been working with the National Center for Farmworker Health to distribute funds from the USDA Farm and Food Worker Relief fund to eligible New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland farmworkers.
This funding, which originates in COVID relief funding, provides a one-time payment of $600 to any worker who worked in agriculture between January 2020 and May 2023.
While we understand that this funding is far from sufficient in addressing the difficulties faced by many front-line workers who worked throughout the pandemic, we have been grateful to be part of ensuring that this money actually makes it out to our farmworking community.
To date, we have assisted 350 workers in applying for this funding, and we will continue to help folks throughout this fall and into next year - leveraging resources we were awarded through the National Center for Farmworker Health but also working with other USDA grantees working in our region.
For many, this funding has helped them to address difficult financial challenges.
We are thankful to the National Center for Farmworker Health for all of their work with us on this program!
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CATA ON THE NEWS
“Current data collection masks infections in the meat- and poultry-processing industry, which nationally have been a covid-19 hot spot,” said Leila Borrero-Krouse, community outreach organizer of CATA’s Farmworker Support Committee in Maryland. Via The Washington Post.
Leila Borrero-Krouse, community outreach organizer of CATA’s Farmworker Support Committee, picks a cantaloupe that she later delivered, along with other produce, to poultry workers who live in Salisbury, Md. (Vanessa G. Sanchez/The Washington Post)
Mental health of migrant workers now in focus
“I was going through a depression … because of my education,” he said. Aquino-Huerta worked 16-hour shifts at a greenhouse so he could pay to attend classes at Rowan. “It … just depressed me because I didn’t have anybody to rely on. So it was hard … I just never really spoke about it with anybody because I … felt like nobody around me was able to relate.” Via NJ Spotlight News
Aug. 11, 2022: Edgar Aquino-Huerta, a farmworker organizer at El Comité de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agrícolas (CATA) and Luciano Perez-Lopez photographed in Hammonton. Perez-Lopez is working in the U.S. on a H-2A visa.