USDA Farm and Food Worker Relief Program Application Clinics Begin Mon, Dec 19 in Iowa City

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Escucha Mi Voz Iowa among the first groups in the country to roll out federal program 

Iowa City, Iowa – A new pandemic relief program will open in Eastern Iowa on Monday, December 19 for meatpacking plant workers and farmworkers negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Eligible farm and food workers who worked at least one day since January 27, 2020 can apply for a direct cash payment of $600.

Escucha Mi Voz Iowa is the subrecipient of a $1,357,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to distribute the $600 pandemic relief checks to more than 1,800 farm and food workers.

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The immigrant-led community organization and worker justice center has 37 institutional members and 500 individual members in places like Iowa City, Columbus Junction, West Liberty, Muscatine, and Washington. The group’s members say they have already performed a census of farm and food workers in the area and have built a list of the entire Tyson Foods and West Liberty Foods workforces.

The application clinic schedule is:

Iowa City Application Clinics

December 19-23, 9am-3pm

Iowa Catholic Worker House, 113 S. Johnson St. Iowa City, Iowa 52240

Columbus Junction Application Clinics

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December 26-30, 4pm-9pm

St. Joseph Catholic Church, 102 Gamble St, Columbus Junction, IA 52738

Iowa City and Columbus Junction Check Distribution

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January 2-6

9am-2pm in Iowa City and 4pm-9pm in Columbus Junction

West Liberty Application Clinics

January 9-13, 9am-8pm

St. Joseph Catholic Church, 107 W. 6th St, West Liberty, IA 52776

West Liberty Check Distribution

January 13-17, 9am-8pm, West Liberty

Washington Application Clinics and Check Distribution

January 19-23, time and location to be announced

The $700 million USDA Farm and Food Worker Relief program officially opened December 15 for meatpacking plant workers and farmworkers negatively impacted by Covid-19 to receive a $600 cash payment. Escucha Mi Voz Iowa will be among the first and the fastest to open up application clinics and distribute the aid.

“Farm and food workers kept the country going during the COVID-19 shutdown because we had to eat, especially during a pandemic,” Rev. Guillermo Trevino, Jr. of West Liberty and Columbus Junction said. “We owe a big thank you to them for what they did and this aid gives people a lot of hope that if they keep going, change can happen.”

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