Know Your Rights
Source: Make the Road New York
Subject: COVID-19
Type: Pubs & Reports

Cash Assistance Program

The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated our communities, which have seen the highest rates of infections and deaths in New York due to poor access to healthcare, overcrowding, and workplace exposure.

In response, Make the Road New York has taken unprecedented steps to mitigate the catastrophic impact of this crisis on our state’s immigrant and working class families. We were the first place many turned to for support, and we have fielded thousands of urgent calls, texts, and emails from community members in desperate need of food, reliable information, and healthcare.


Before the end of March, as low-income community members lost jobs without notice, the need for emergency food was immediate. We have expanded our food pantry programs in Brooklyn and Queens and created food distribution sites in Staten Island and Westchester. In total, we continuously distribute over 1,100 food bags per week.

The need for financial relief programs has also been overwhelming. Additionally, we have provided cash cards mailed to our members’ homes.

As of November 2020, we have been able to send out $4 Million worth of cash cards to 6,382 homes. Below, we break down our allocations per borough and county.

Queens: $1,999,646 to 2,883 households;

Brooklyn: $835,624 to 1,267 households;

Bronx: $334,443 to 591 households;

Long Island: $260,927 to 589 households;

Staten Island: $335,582 to 487 households;

Westchester: $109,905 to 305 households;

Manhattan: $101,546 to 185 households;

Other: $52,885 to 75 households.

To see the full scope of our Make the Road NY’s COVID-19 response and its vital impact on the lives of those we serve, download our Meeting the Moment: Make the Road New York in the COVID Era report.