Marshallese Covid-19 Response Fund

**Update: with the resources available in NWA and through a second NWA Equitable Food Response Grant through UAMS/Walton Foundation, we believe we have food needs covered through July. We have already switched over to helping families with their bills. Funds donated to this campaign will go toward families' greater needs, not just food. Please read our updates below and visit our website for the latest: Please note: we are also not taking photos of recipients and posting them to social media out of respect for these families. We are a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, so your donations are accounted for and will go where they are needed most.**

Marshallese community members across the United States are disproportionately affected by Covid-19.

They are especially vulnerable to coronavirus, in part, because the community has one of the highest diabetes rates in the world. Having relocated to the United States since the 1980s as Compact of Free Association migrants, Marshallese do not qualify for Medicaid and most have no health insurance. 

Additionally, many Marshallese are on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic as line workers in meatpacking plants across the country. Springdale, Arkansas, which is home to approximately 10,000 Marshallese residents, is also the epicenter of industrialized poultry processing, which employs hundreds of Marshallese workers.

Update to original Campaign post from May:
In response to this pandemic, local Marshallese community members and advocates in Springdale joined together to form a Marshallese Covid-19 Response Task Force chaired by CG Eldon Alik and Dr. Sheldon Riklon. Our nonprofit organization received a $10k grant to distribute healthy foods to Marshallese residents in northwest Arkansas, and as part of the Task Force, we delivered food to 143 families a week over a 4-week period.  Because the grant parameters limited distribution to families in NWA, we used funds here to assist close to an additional 100 families; our combined efforts helped feed approximately 2,000 individual Marshallese residents.

We recently were awarded a second grant for $14,800 to continue to feed Marshallese families in quarantine; again, this funding is specific to Marshallese in NWA. Because of the increase in numbers of families in quarantine, we are delivering primarily to those families. 

The need is still much greater, however. We are receiving calls from Marshallese community members who live in other regions of the state and country.  Your donations will help us provide supplies and help pay families' utility bills that have gone unpaid due to loss of work/income as a direct result of the pandemic.

Visit the MEI website, our Facebook page, and that of the Task Force to learn about this unique Pacific Island culture and Marshallese community efforts to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

Kommool tata!  Thank you!




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April Brown 
Springdale, AR
Marshallese Educational Initiative 
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