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Immigrant Food sees traditional corporate responsibility in a whole new way.

In this moment of division, we want to create easy paths for all of us to help immigrant communities in need. Align your taste buds to your values. We call it gastroadvocacy.

We open the doors of our space to local NGOs as they look for downtown locations to teach English, hold workshops and legal clinics and offer job search services. In the restaurant, our engagement menu is right there next to our food menu; we’ve got suggestions about ways you can contribute and volunteer to help immigrant organizations. We partner with five heroic organizations working in the trenches daily to offer services to immigrants and advocate on their behalf.

Our NGO partners need more volunteers than ever before. Immigrant service organizations are stretched to the limits as immigrants from Central America, Mexico, China, India and Africa and so many other places need legal, language, housing, and job search assistance.

Our partners need volunteers for:

  • Legal and paralegal services
  • English teachers
  • Vocational trainers
  • Translation/interpretation
  • Phone banks
  • Jail/detention visits
  • Intake interviews
  • Staffing hotlines
  • Administrative support
  • Tours of D.C. and the metro system
  • Financial literacy classes
  • Citizenship classes
  • Mock interviews with ICE
  • Transportation
  • Special Skills (photography, PR, writing)

Learn more about our brave partners:

Though the D.C. metro area has nearly half a million Asian immigrants, few organizations focus on Asian immigrants in our area. APALRC is one of the oldest and largest NGOs working with low-income Asian immigrants to offer legal assistance via hotlines and by traveling to communities around the DMV. They work in multiple languages (even their brochure is in Urdu, Hindi, Vietnamese, Korean, Indonesian, Chinese and Arabic – can you believe how complicated their job is!) and they provide culturally appropriate legal services for people from at least four major religions. They hold naturalization workshops and legal clinics – including walk-in facilities. They provide advisory services for immigrants about their rights to safe, affordable homes in the neighborhoods they choose. Importantly, they have a domestic violence project that assists with protective orders, under the Violence Against Women Act and family law.

Our newest partner, AsylumWorks was founded just a few years ago.  We love AsylumWorks because, as America’s long tradition of asylum was whittled to next-to-nothing, they jumped in to solve a fundamental conundrum. As they escape from persecution, violence and injustice, asylum seekers arrive in the U.S. with many needs, but so few resources of their own. Many of these needs endanger an asylum seeker’s health, safety, and ability to retain and work with an immigration attorney. To address these urgent needs, AsylumWorks provides trauma-experienced social services, employment assistance, and community support that is proven to help asylum seekers regain control of their lives.

Established in 1973, Ayuda is one of Washington D.C.’s oldest NGOs providing legal, social and language access services to immigrants from all over the world. One of Ayuda’s important programs is working with victims of crime, including: domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking and consumer fraud. In fact, many of D.C.’s immigration experts today started as Ayuda interns! Staff attorneys serve thousands of low-income immigrants from more than 100 countries by helping them obtain visas, work authorization and legal status. In the last few years, Ayuda has seen an increased need for their services, leading them to offer legal clinics in partnership with area law firms and pro bono attorneys.

At most immigration service organizations, any immigrant can walk in and ask for help. Not at Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition. That’s because CAIR Coalition does some of the hardest work around: They only work with immigrants inside the detention system. Indeed, CAIR Coalition is the only organization in the area with a legal services program focused exclusively on assisting the more than 2,000 immigrant men, women, and children currently detained in jails and juvenile facilities in Maryland and Virginia. The organization provides “Know Your Rights” presentations, individual consultations and legal representation before the immigration court, Board of Immigration Appeals and 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.  CAIR Coalition also engages in impact litigation and trains hundreds of attorneys a year in detained immigrant defense. CAIR Coalition’s work is made possible by the hundreds of volunteers who help staff the CAIR Coalition detention hotline, assist on jail visits, help with translation and interpretation, take cases pro bono, pick-up released detainees from jail and provide freed clients and their families with post-release support.

In the 1980s and 1990s, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala all experienced civil wars, and Honduras suffered more than a decade of civil strife. A small group of brave Central Americans partnered up to establish a new NGO to help refugees fleeing the violence. With a small but mighty staff of 15, CARECEN provides legal services, life-skills and civic education for thousands of Latino immigrants a year. They help immigrants integrate and assimilate by offering integration workshops such as financial literacy, language, housing, and citizenship classes.

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