More than 2.5 million agricultural workers - half undocumented - were deemed essential by the federal government during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most farm workers and their families are excluded from federal relief efforts due to the lack of legal status of the farm worker or their spouse. Even as essential workers keeping America fed, they are being infected with COVID-19 at alarming levels and need emergency relief assistance.
The UFW Foundation’s Project Essential was launched in order to address these systemic inequalities by providing vital financial support, personal protective equipment, crucial workers’ rights information, and support to farm workers during the pandemic. So far, more than $17 million in pandemic financial assistance for 33,788 farm workers & low income-immigrants distributed in California, Oregon, and Washington State. The UFW Foundation, in partnership with Chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen and in collaboration with the UFW and the Cesar Chavez Foundation, also provided 189,000 restaurant-prepared meals in rural California. The UFW Foundation has also distributed more than 35,000 food boxes to farm workers in rural California and is on track to distribute more than 950,000 cloth, surgical and KN95 masks in rural farm worker communities across California, Oregon, Michigan, and Washington state.
The UFW Foundation is committed to continuing to assist farm workers during these challenging times. We are also working to ensure farm workers be among the first to receive COVID-19 vaccines once the life-saving immunizations become available. Our emergency relief assistance programs will continue expanding and more assistance will become available in the upcoming days.
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