Rockland-based organizations like Proyecto Faro, an immigrant-led organization that advocates for undocumented individuals and their families, are strategizing how to continueproviding food to this vulnerable community. The families they serve have suffered from food insecurity because of jobs lost during to the pandemic. Some tax-paying undocumented workers are not only jobless but are unable to collect the extra $600 COVID relief unemployment benefits. This has made it difficult for them to feed their families. In March, Proyecto Faro started out by distributing $100 gift cards to 21 families to purchase groceries. And as the virus spread, the need grew. Proyecto Faro was soon supporting 200 local immigrant families with food boxes.

  

Charo Ureña, director and lead organizer of Proyecto Faro and her team, wove together a supportive network. At the beginning of each week, trucks of food were unloaded and sorted by food type. Area pastors and their churches, grass-roots organizations like Rockland Jews for Immigrant Justice (RJIJ) and larger organizations such as the Salvation Army donated food, time and financial stewardship. Organizing the donations all came together at Stony Point Centerwhere volunteers used the dining room to box up the food.

    

Volunteers were recruited from the very community Proyecto Faro serves. They went from feeling hopeless, believing everyone would succumb to the virus, to feeling empowered that they could make a difference. One volunteer told Ms. Ureña, “I don’t have money, but I have my hands.” And yet another volunteer told her, “I couldn’t stand being in the house any longer and helping with the food distribution is wonderful therapy.”

 

Proyecto Faro held a meeting on Monday, July 6, with volunteers to brainstorm new ways to continue collecting food for the families they are assisting. They created a list of businesses and supermarketsto call and enlist their help. Even with the challenges of less aid at the end of the month, Ms. Ureña has faith that God will find a way. “ When you take care of God’s people, God is going to help you do exactly that,” stated Ms. Ureña. If each one of us reading this is able, we can help by donating to Proyecto Faro. We might be “the way” to answer Ms. Ureña’s prayers. Please learn more about Proyecto Faro and donate what you can to support their food program.  

 

Charopic Proyecto Faro