Ten months into the pandemic, many people are still struggling to find employment and make ends meet. But, there's an unexpected resource for some of New Hampshire's Colombian residents.
On Wednesday, members of the Colombian consulate in Boston will make their way to Manchester to give $84 Market Basket gift cards - along with nutrition guides - to 20 people.
Carolina Mejía Gil is the Colombian consul in Boston. She says the Colombian embassy has been implementing different measures throughout the pandemic to help those that have lost their jobs in New England.
“Our purpose is promoting healthy diets and supporting families getting access to food during this difficult time,” she said.
The gift card is meant for at least one basic grocery run to “provide some relief or lessen concerns during this difficult time."
The consulate estimates there are at least 810 Colombians living in New Hampshire.
Diego Cataño is a member of the community and owner of Antojitos Colombianos, a Colombian restaurant in downtown Manchester. He helped get the word out about the Market Basket gift cards through an email listserv, and the consulate will distribute those cards at his restaurant.
“One guy who’s coming Wednesday hasn’t been able to get work for the past seven months because he works in a hotel in Manchester where they do catering,” Cataño said. “Others work cleaning buildings throughout the city, and they’ve had their hours cut off.”
Many of the people who have signed up to receive a gift card are New Hampshire residents from Nashua and Manchester, with one couple driving in from Kittery, Maine.
The recipients will need to provide proof of Colombian nationality, either through a passport or national ID card.