Marshallese Covid-19 Response Fund

**Update: with the food 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. When possible, we are educating local Marshallese community members about local services provided by HARK, Samaritan Center, and the Salvation Army and facilitating Marshallese assistance with these programs. 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 12,000 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 over a 4-week period.  Because the grant parameters limited healthy food 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, this time prioritizing Marshallese families in quarantine; again, this funding is specific to Marshallese in NWA. 

The need is still much greater, however. Many Marshallese have had their hours reduced at work or lost their jobs outright; many cannot go to work given quarantine restrictions and go without pay. Other than a handful of exceptions, Marshallese workers do not have the luxury of working from home. We are receiving calls from Marshallese community members locally and those who live in other regions of the state and country.  Your donations will help us provide food, 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. #IWearAMask

Kommool tata!  Thank you!




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April Brown 
Springdale, AR
Marshallese Educational Initiative 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are 100% tax deductible.
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