The pandemic has affected the lives of so many… and while many of us stayed safe behind a computer working from home, agricultural workers did not have that luxury and continued going to their jobs despite the safety concern.
It has been a year since the pandemic began but the community is still affected by high rates of infection, lost work hours, and debt acquired while work was not available or after receiving medical bills.
Throughout the pandemic, EFWM has worked to address the needs of the community and with the help and support of people like you, we have been able to fill part of the void created during the last year.
Through food distributions held at the ministry, farmworker camps, trailer parks, and other areas, EFWM has provided over 300,000 pounds of food to the community.
This food was donated by the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, the Make a Difference Pantry, Crossing All Borders Ministry, Overflowing Hands, Bread Basket of Sanford, Ship Community Outreach – Bread of Life, the Episcopal Dioceses of East Carolina and North Carolina, Episcopal Churches, and individuals like you!
In-kind donations make the bulk of what we distribute but your financial donations allow us to complement these allotments with culturally appropriate staple foods like Maseca, tortillas, beans, rice, etc.
The first time we held a food distribution during the pandemic, the line was 3 miles long. It was unexpected! We are now serving between 200 and 300 families at these events, which usually take place on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month.
Food insecurity has skyrocketed during the pandemic. As people continue their road to recovery from the financial impacts caused by COVID, EFWM continues to be committed to give a helping hand to those who need it. As workers continue to provide us with food to eat, we are stepping in to make sure they also have enough on their tables.
If you would like to volunteer with EFWM, please text “EFWMVolunteer” to 77-222 and you will receive alerts for volunteer opportunities.
In the beginning of the pandemic, PPE was hard to find and workers did not have a way to protect their health. That’s where you stepped in! Church women made masks for workers, partner organizations found hand sanitizer to distribute, and eventually government agencies provided us with supplies.
We have donated tens of thousands of face masks, hand sanitizer, and other important personal protection equipment (PPE) to help the community protect themselves against the virus. Although more widely available, PPE can be expensive for families earning poverty wages.
Not every member of the community has the opportunity to travel to our location and take-home groceries and PPE. Our team members have gone out with community leaders to trailer parks, farmworker camps, meat processing plants, and other locations to meet the community and provide them with supplies and important information.
A group of ten community leaders are working with EFWM to bring reliable information to the community about COVID-19 and the vaccine. We call them promoters because they promote health and education in the community. These community members educate their peers at work, in their neighborhoods, and at other places frequented by the community (such as stores, or laundry mats). Promotores also share written materials, invite people to online educational events and trainings, share materials on social media, and make appointments for those willing to get the vaccine. Finally, promotores distribute food and supplies during health community events organized by partner organizations (such as NC FIELD or Commwell Health). At EFWM, we know that the community has strength and knowledge that is vital to get as many people vaccinated and back on their feet. That is why we recognize these leaders and thank them for partnering with us!
We will continue to produce flyers, videos, social media posts, and other materials until the community has access to the information that will allow them to make the best decisions for their health and the health of their families. We have gained a large following on our social media and through it we have helped the community learn about important safety information. EFWM also has a mass text program that allows us to send information to over 1,000 individuals.
Social media can unfortunately be the source of so much misinformation related to covid-19 and because of that we have consistently made sure to keep the community in the right loop of information regarding the spread of the virus, important symptoms to look for, where to get tested, and recently, information about the new available vaccines.
We have successfully helped over 600 agricultural workers receive emergency funds of $500-$1,000 per family. In total, our team has given over $250,000 to those in need, including workers with H-2A visas who have finished their working season and returned to their home countries. You can read some testimonies of the workers who have received an emergency fund on our Facebook page.