There’s a lot of misinformation out there that is making the lives of many residents of New York City more difficult during this already difficult time.
1. We’ve heard that people are not seeking necessary medical attention because of their immigration status.
The City will provide medical care no matter what your immigration status is and whether you can pay for it or not. Seeking or using healthcare services related to COVID-19 will NOT impact your ability to apply for a green card or citizenship. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has stated that medical care related to COVID-19 – including preventive care, testing, and treatment – will not be held against you in a “public charge” test. The Federal Government has also issued a directive temporarily stopping immigration enforcement at or near health care facilities, including hospitals, clinics, urgent care, and doctors’ offices.
Healthcare workers should also not ask you about your immigration status. However, if they do, you can refuse to provide this information and you can tell them you have a right to be treated.
Everyone has a right to an interpreter at no-cost when seeking medical care. You may request language interpretation directly from healthcare staff.
If you need help finding a doctor or getting medical care, call 311.
2. We’ve heard that people are cutting down their family meals to one per day, cutting down important nutritional need of their families, because they’ve lost their jobs and are unaware of meal programs sponsored by New York City and other organizations.
New York City has created a web page called “FOODHELP NYC” that lists hundreds of sites throughout the city where free meals are being distributed, including food pantries, community kitchens, and sites where eligible New Yorkers can apply for SNAP/Food benefits:
New York City is also distributing meals each day at NYC Public Schools. They are providing free meals at more than 400 schools – and it is NOT necessary to have a child enrolled in school. Meals can be picked up Monday through Friday between 7:30 am and 11:30 am for children and families, and between 11:30 am and 1:30 pm for adults. No registration or identification is necessary and NO ONE will be turned away. To find the nearest school location, please go to their web site:
The World Central Kitchen’s #ChefsForAmerica, a private organization run by Chef José Andrés, is also distributing free meals throughout New York City. To find a location near you, check this link:
Plentiful, an organization that works with City Harvest, United Way, and NYC Food Policy, has a phone based service that works by text to identify food pantry locations nearby. Here’s a link:
3. Finally, we want to make you aware with an excellent guide that was produced by the Consulate General of Ecuador in New York to help our communities in New York find resources during this pandemic. Here is a link:
Remember, stay home to help stop the spread of COVID-19! If you need to go out for provisions, wear a mask, wear gloves, wash your hands, keep social distances, and follow all safety protocols. Stay safe!