National Food Bank Trend: Immigrant Populations Afraid to Seek Food Assistance

There’s been a lot of news in the past few months about immigration issues.  Although these stories seem far away, the impact is being felt right here in WNC.  Several MANNA partners are reporting a decline in clients from immigrant communities, which echoes what we are hearing from food banks across the nation.  Our partner organizations are telling us that families are nervous about giving out their personal contact information in order to get the resources they need.

At MANNA FoodBank, we know that hunger doesn’t discriminate and neither do we.   We believe that food is a basic human need, and ensuring access to adequate food is an obligation of any responsible and compassionate society.  Our mission is to involve, educate, and unite people in the work of ending hunger, and that includes providing food to any person facing hunger within our service area.  We will continue to serve families in WNC based on need, and we hope our partners will join us.

We are seeking out those partners who have a sensitivity towards immigrant populations and want to continue serving immigrant communities.  Right now churches and organizations in WNC are reaching out to MANNA to find out where families can receive food without putting themselves or their loved ones at risk.

  • Are you willing to accept alternative contact information (for example a church or community center) for families who aren’t comfortable providing their home information?
  • Are you willing to post or share information resources so that clients can better understand their rights?
  • Are you interested in receiving updates on issues that concern immigrant communities in WNC?

If you answered yes to these questions, please send an email to Katy (kgerman@mannafoodbank.org) indicating that you’d like to be on a list of immigrant friendly providers.

We’d also like to know if you’ve seen a change in the immigrant populations you are serving.  Our intention is to have an inclusive partner network, without alienating any partners.  If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out and let us know.

For more information immigrant eligibility for federal food assistance click here: USDA Update on Food Stamps to Non-Citizens

Here are some additional resources for immigrant populations from Pisgah Legal and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center:

Immigrant Rights Under the Trump Administration (in Spanish)

Immigrant Rights Red Cards

DACA: Current Status and Options