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$750,000 donation helps immigrant farmworkers, meatpacking workers struggling with COVID-19 in Iowa

[Oct. 13, 2020: Donnelle Eller]

An anonymous donor has contributed $750,000 to help immigrant farmworkers and meatpacking-plant workers in Iowa who are struggling with lost income, health care costs and other challenges tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Using earlier donations, three groups — the Quakers' American Friends Service Committee Iowa; Al Éxito, which promotes the interests of Latino youth; and Proteus Inc., a group serving immigrant farmworkers — have provided $200,000 in assistance to about 200 immigrant families.

With the help of the $750,000 donation, the groups are expanding the initiative — now called the Iowa Immigrant Community Fund. It will help families of immigrant meatpacking workers and farmworkers in central Iowa pay their rent, mortgages, utilities and costs associated with transportation, medicine and other expenses they've experienced due to COVID-19.


The scientists noted in the study that, based on their own previous research, “pro-Working shoulder-to-shoulder, meatpacking workers have been hard hit in the public health emergency. About 3,840 meatpacking workers in Iowa have tested positive for COVID-19 and nearly 200 have died, based on data collected by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.

Some money remains available from earlier donations to help immigrant families who don't have ties farms or meatpacking plants, the groups said.


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Al Éxito is active in Belmond, Clarion, Des Moines, Hampton, Marshalltown, Ottumwa, Perry and Tama.

Proteus, a nonprofit group that works in Iowa, Nebraska and Indiana, helps provide job training, health care and assistance to people working in agriculture.

The American Friends Service Committee Iowa is a Quaker program that provides immigrant residents low-cost legal services.

This Brighter Side of News post courtesy of Des Moines Register.



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