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Home / Press Release / Human Rights First to Partner with Hunger Relief Program to Aid Refugee Families 
May 16, 2017

Human Rights First to Partner with Hunger Relief Program to Aid Refugee Families 

New York City—Human Rights First today announced a new partnership with Family-to-Family, a national hunger and poverty relief charity, to launch a hunger relief program focused on easing food insecurity issues for recently arrived refugee families in New York City and the tri-state area. The program, which is already assisting twenty families, is modeled on Family-to-Family's signature Sponsor A Family program, and matches each donor family with a specific refugee family that has been identified by Human Rights First as a family in need of support. The refugee families served are asylum seekers who are receiving pro bono legal representation from Human Rights First. 

"When refugees are finally resettled in the United States, they are often recovering from years of hardship, trauma, and instability in their home countries. As one of the nation’s largest and most successful pro bono representation programs in the country, we know firsthand the difficulties families face as they attempt to rebuild their lives in the United States after escaping violence and persecution,” said Human Rights First’s Hardy Vieux. 

“We view this program as an important way to help struggling refugee families feel more welcome and secure in their new country. Amid all the political rhetoric, we hope people remember these are mothers, fathers and children who’ve endured unimaginable horrors in their former homelands,” said Pam Koner, Family-to-Family’s founder and executive director. “And now they find themselves in what can feel like an alien environment, struggling to learn a new language, adapt to a different culture, earn a living, get their children into school, perhaps go to school themselves. At the very least, we can help ensure they’re not also struggling to put food on the table every day.” 

Each donor registers online to make a recurring contribution ($55/month for a full sponsorship, or $27.50 to share a sponsorship), which funds a monthly grocery gift card for the recipient family with whom they are matched. Refugee families can use the card to purchase whatever groceries they need at a participating grocery store in their community. Depending on the family’s size and purchasing preferences, a card typically covers enough basic groceries for 7-10 meals per month.  

For nearly 40 years, Human Rights First has helped people who come to the United States fleeing persecution, torture, and even threats of death. The organization’s unique approach—which combines assisting individual refugees to gain protection while pushing for fair and humane national asylum laws and policies—has proven to be highly effective in helping people become new and engaged members of American society and in bringing about sustained and positive change in laws and policies towards refugees.

In keeping with Family-to-Family’s core mission of connecting families with more and families with less in a direct, one-to-one relationship, program donors will receive basic information about the family they’re sponsoring, including their country of origin, first names and ages. The purpose is to encourage donors to reach out and help their sponsored family in other ways, such as sending personal care items, books or birthday gifts for the kids. One donor sent the pregnant refugee mom she was linked with a “stork box” filled with everything needed for a new baby. Another sent household items, including bed sheets, drinking glasses and flatware. Donor and recipient families are also encouraged to learn more about each other through letter writing.  Staying true to its original mission, Family-to-Family is committed to providing donors with a personal hands-on way to give, and recipients with a caring and welcoming hand-up in their new country. 

About Family-to-Family 

Family-to-Family, Inc. (www.family-to-family.org) is a grassroots, nonprofit 501(c)(3) hunger and poverty relief organization dedicated to providing food, personal hygiene products and other basic life essentials to American families struggling with the challenges of poverty. By connecting donors one-to-one with specific families in need, Family-to-Family brings a large and seemingly intractable problem—poverty—into personal focus, delivering practical results… one family at a time. 

About Human Rights First 

Human Rights First is an independent advocacy and action organization, with offices in New York, Washington D.C., Houston, and Los Angeles, that challenges America to live up to its ideals. We believe American leadership is essential in the global struggle for human rights, so we press the United States government and private companies to respect human rights and the rule of law. When they fail, we step in to demand reform, accountability and justice. Around the world, we work where we can best harness American influence to secure core freedoms.  A key component of Human Rights First’s work is efforts to protect refugees and represent asylum seekers fleeing persecution at home and looking to find safety in the United States.  

For more information contact Corinne Duffy at DuffyC@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3319.