A group of Good Samaritans coordinated a relief goods distribution to 75 foreign workers Thursday in a bid to help them out since they are ineligible for the federally-funded Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
Tony Frank, Jae Carrico, and Candy Feliciano were able to distribute the care packages to furloughed foreign workers, with the intent to do similar more drives.
The food packages each contain 4 lbs of chicken, 2 lbs of ham, a dozen eggs, 3 lbs of rice, canned goods, potatoes, carrots, onion, garlic, and cabbage.
According to Carrico, “We have been reaching out to local government officials, social media and businesses to try and get awareness and support as much as possible.”
“It all started with a gentleman who came up to me asking for assistance and my husband and I put a box for him because nobody should be running out of food,” she added. The group felt like they needed to help those who are not eligible for federal aid and have been struggling since March.
Carrico said that they will be doing a dollar drive at the Beach Road intersection on Friday and Saturday. “There are about 380 people that signed up and we would like to raise more donations that would help. We really need to put a lot of pressure on the government to include the CW-1 workers,” she said, referring to the CW work visas of foreign workers.
One of the recipients later said, “This is such a big help for us. We have been struggling a lot since being furloughed. We have bills to pay and we worry about food every day to put on our tables. I thank this group of people who care about us.”
Thousands of workers in the CNMI have been furloughed or have had their hours reduced due to the economic damage of the COVID-19 pandemic.