Huntsville-based coalition running food bank for undocumented immigrants

Updated: Apr. 23, 2020 at 9:11 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - There are an estimated 55,000 undocumented immigrants in Alabama, who are not eligible for federal relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A coalition of organizations are running a food bank to help fill the needs of the community.

The United Church of Huntsville, Huntsville Helping Hands, and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) are operating the food bank at the the church.

Iglesia Adventista (Adventist Church) Pastor Angel Rigo and immigration activist Aylene Amato volunteer at the food bank and help deliver the food.

Amato said the food bank spans five counties and has served thousands.

“If they can’t make it to the church, and this is immigrant community comes in, we set up a delivery,” she said.

Rigo doesn’t speak fluent english, but agreed to do an interview with WAFF with Amato translating.

He said the undocumented immigrant community is without legal paperwork and now without jobs or federal assistance.

“We’ve also found families that are in total need of complete food assistance,” he said.

Rigo said tight living quarters among the undocumented community means more people can get sick.

Amato elaborated:

“When you’re undocumented sometimes they don’t want to go to the clinics and present their ID’s or they don’t know where to go, or the cost," she said.

Rigo said in the last week, he knew five or six people that have died.

They said the solution would be aid and protection from the federal government.

The United Church in Huntsville is accepting money donations to buy food for the food bank.

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