Ensuring Immigrant Food Access During COVID

May 20, 2020

All Are Welcome Here

Here at the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, we believe that access to food is not a privilege granted based on the country of your birth, but your right as a human being. Our food pantry programs are open to all, regardless of citizenship status. During the COVID-19 crisis, our immigrant neighbors face increased hunger and financial hardship because of their exclusion from unemployment insurance benefits and Federal stimulus payments. We are working to help them gain access to the food they need to get through this difficult time. 

California Takes Action to Support Immigrant Neighbors

To help support undocumented Californians excluded from federal stimulus funds, Governor Newsom has created the Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants Project. The project will distribute $75 million in state funding to 12 organizations throughout California. Families can apply to receive up to $500 per adult. The Governor shared, “We feel a deep sense of gratitude for people who are in fear of deportations but are still addressing the essential needs of tens of millions of Californians. In the healthcare sector, in the agriculture and food sector, in the manufacturing and logistics sector, and the construction sector. This is a state that steps up always to support those in need, regardless of status.” Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis starting on May 18, 2020. 

Local Leaders Step Up

We celebrate Supervisors Shamann Walton and Hilary Ronen for proposing the Emergency Family Relief Fund to provide financial assistance for immigrant families during the crisis. As Sup. Ronen said, We believe that our immigrant communities in San Francisco are as deserving as the rest of us for help during this crisis. We will step in strong and loud as a local City and County where our federal leaders have failed to help our immigrant population.”   

The City of San Francisco has also set up an immigrant resources page on its website, where immigrants can find the help they need during the crisis. 

Food For All

We are all in this together. That means we are all harmed when immigrants are excluded from life-saving programs or when they fear going to the doctor or accessing vital nutrition benefits because of the Administration’s changes to public charge policies.  One of the most powerful lessons we are learning from this crisis is that our own wellbeing is bound up in the wellbeing of our neighbors.  We are committed to ending hunger in San Francisco and Marin and providing food for all who need it in our communities.