Essential Farm Worker Project
Thank you for your interest in the Essential Farm Worker Project!
We have received thousands of calls and messages of interest about the program in a short period of time. For that reason, we have reached capacity for applications in California. As of August 3, we will no longer accept applications for individuals who reside in California.
We are proud of being able to assist more than 11,000 pople in California through the use of new technological tools.
Than you to all who opted into our text message program and sent the key word ESSENTIAL to 877-877. We will continue to send up-to-date information on resources and programs available through our text message program.
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This program is still in effect for applicants in the states of Washington and Oregon.
What is the Essential Farm Worker Fund?
The Essential Farm Worker Project is a new emergency relief assistance program launched by the UFW Foundation for agricultural workers impacted by the global pandemic. The $11.6 million programs is funded by private sources and will provide more than 21,500 undocumented agricultural workers in California, Washington state, and Oregon with a one-time $500 prepaid card if they meet requirements.
Why was this fund created?
More than 2.5 million farm workers –half undocumented—are deemed essential during the pandemic. Most farm workers farm workers and their families are excluded from federal relief efforts due to the lack of legal status either of the farm worker or their spouse. In order to address these systemic inequities, the UFW Foundation has already distributed more than 170,000 meals and more than 14,000 emergency food boxes to rural California families. Moreover, the UFW Foundation was one of 12 organizations selected by the California Department of Social Services to administer applications under California’s Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants (DRAI) that closed on June 30. The UFW Foundation will also be distributing 900,000 masks to farm workers in California, Washington state, and Oregon.
How do I know if I am eligible for this program? The eligibility criteria for financial assistance is as follows:
- Agricultural worker (Must be a farm worker, dairy worker, nursery or greenhouse worker, packinghouse worker)
- Adult (18 years or older)
- California, Washington, Oregon residents only.
- Not have received COVID-related financial assistance, such as the stimulus checks provided in the CARES Act or California’s Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants (DRAI)
What documents will be needed to apply for this assistance?
- Photo ID
- Proof of address (If photo ID has an address, that will be sufficient)
- Proof of agricultural work (Paycheck stub, W2s, picture of yourself at work in agriculture)
How do I apply for this assistance?
If you are eligible to apply for this assistance, you will need to call the UFW Foundation at 661 501-4280. An intake worker will assist you in completing and submitting your application for the program over the phone only. The UFW Foundation’s service hours for this program are: Sundays 9 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; and Monday – Thursday 11:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. There will be no representatives available Fridays and Saturdays. High call volume is expected, we appreciate your patience and recommend you try several times during application business hours.
The application phone line will go live at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 22. Individuals should not try calling the line before this time.
Will my personal information used to apply for the program be protected?
The information you provide to the UFW Foundation will only be used to confirm your eligibility for the program. The UFW Foundation will not share your personal information with any state or federal agencies.
How will I receive this assistance?
Applicants who qualify will receive a prepaid card with $502.50. The $2.50 will be included to cover a one-time ATM fee, should you choose to withdraw cash at an ATM. All cards will be delivered by mail to the applicant’s preferred mailing address they provide during the application process.
How many members of the family can apply for this assistance?
There is a maximum of two cards per household. This means that only two undocumented adult family members per household will be able to receive the assistance.
How will I be notified about the status of my application?
The applicant will receive a phone call by a UFW Foundation representative informing them of the outcome of their application.
Will the UFW Foundation charge an application fee?
The UFW Foundation will never charge to complete or submit an application for someone applying under this program.
What should I do if I have questions about the status of my application that has already been submitted?
The emergency relief assistance is a three-step process. First, an intake worker will conduct an intake application. Second, a separate individual will review the application and determine whether the applicant is eligible or not. A UFW Foundation representative will call or text the applicant to inform them of the outcome. Lastly, if the application is approved, the UFW Foundation will then ask the prepaid card vendor to mail the card to the designated mailing address provided by the applicant. Please do not reach us through the initial application hotline for any questions regarding the status your application as the phone lines might be saturated.
Once my prepaid card is approved, how long will it take for me to receive my card in the mail?
Prepaid cards will be mailed out to all applicants 10-14 days after approval of their application.
What should I do if I’m having issues activating my prepaid card?
Applicants who have trouble activating their prepaid card must call the number on the back of the card for further assistance. The prepaid card vendor will be able to provide assistance. Please do not reach us through the initial application hotline as the phone lines might be saturated.
Is there a deadline I have to apply for this program?
The UFW Foundation will be completing applications for this program until the funds are exhausted.