More than 100 community-based organizations have joined with NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer to send a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio calling for the development of a $25 million food program for undocumented New Yorkers.
The letter calls on the mayor to allocate FEMA reimbursement funding to a food program specifically for undocumented New Yorkers, in addition to the City’s current emergency food programs. The Biden Administration lifted the cap on FEMA reimbursement for New York State and City’s pandemic related costs, which will result in $1 billion in reimbursements for New York City.
In a press release, Stringer said undocumented New Yorkers had fewer resources available to help put food on the table, and had to rely solely on food pantries and mutual aid networks for additional food, which often was not enough.
“It’s unconscionable that anyone should go hungry in one of the wealthiest cities in the world, especially in the middle of a public health crisis,”Stringer said.
“Immigrant New Yorkers have been hit hard by the pandemic, with higher rates of COVID infections and job losses–yet undocumented New Yorkers have been left out of federal and state food programs.”
He said the City needed to act immediately to create the $25 million emergency food program to reach undocumented New Yorkers where they were– regardless of immigration status, cultural background or language.
“I am proud to join over 100 immigrant advocates, faith leaders and community-based organizations to say loud and clear: hunger does not discriminate, and neither should we,” he said.
Urban Justice Center’s Street Vendor Project Managing Director Mohamed Attia said there was no doubt undocumented New Yorkers had been hit the hardest during the pandemic, and he said that was especially economically as they hadn’t received any financial support from the government.
“Food insecurity levels are still skyrocketing in our immigrant communities even after a whole year since the pandemic hit the City,” he said.
“It’s shameful that food workers across our city, including food vendors, can’t feed themselves and their families during this pandemic.”
The letter sent to the de Blasio signs off: “We call on you to take immediate action and commit the funding to make this proposal a reality. Undocumented New Yorkers cannot wait for relief any longer.”
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