Grassroots efforts in New Haven helping undocumented immigrants hit especially hard by coronavirus crisis

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Grassroots efforts in New Haven are helping undocumented immigrants feed their families while they are out of work during the coronavirus crisis. Those undocumented are being hit especially hard by the pandemic because they are not eligible for government financial relief.

The Semilla Collective of New Haven created two grassroots projects, The ​Food Garage and the ​New Haven Area Mutual Aid Fund, to help undocumented immigrants get through the pandemic. 

Luis Luna, the organizer of the Food Garage explained, “The need is great. In the last couple of days, we’ve gotten 100 families that signed into our list.” The projects have donated over $25,000 worth of food and cash to these families.

So far, volunteers have given out over 450 boxes of food to families. 

RELATED: President Trump says he will sign executive order to ‘temporarily suspend immigration into the United States’ amid pandemic

Luna said, “We are working with families who live in East Haven, New Haven, West Haven, Hamden.”

180 boxes of food are given out weekly each box is aimed at feeding a family for seven days. 

Luna explained, “The need is large. For one family who are undocumented and not getting the stimulus check, even the kids who are born here or their parents might undocumented and they’re not getting the stimulus check.” 

Undocumented workers are not eligible for stimulus payments.

Fatima Rojas is a volunteer with Semilla Collective of New Haven. She explained that most of the people who – before the crisis – were preparing your food in restaurants or “mowing your lawn and your beautiful gardens” or “cleaning your house and taking care of your babied” are individuals who come “from the immigrant community.”

Fatima Rojas said the crisis has hit undocumented immigrants especially hard.  

Fatima added, “Can you imagine having to pay your rent, continue to bring food for your kids, and not having an income.”

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