By Sam Bojarski

From mental health challenges, to food insecurity and employment, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the Haitian community. 

A food distribution at Flatlands Reformed Church. Photo by Sam Bojarski

“There’s a lot of anxiety right now, the biggest issue is about food,” said Yolette Williams, executive director  of the Haitian American Alliance (HAA), a nonprofit based in Brooklyn that supports the empowerment of the Haitian-American community. 

To help Haitian community organizations and leaders share their needs and service offerings amid the coronavirus pandemic, Healthfirst ‒ New York state’s largest nonprofit health insurer ‒ has convened multiple virtual forums. The sessions, which have occurred the last two Thursdays in July, have included many organizations that serve communities in Long Island. 

In addition to helping Healthfirst create solutions, “sometimes what will happen is we will be able to connect dots, so that others who are participating in the forum can say, ‘hey this is something we can address,’” said Miguel Centeno, vice president of community engagement at Healthfirst. 

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Sam Bojarski

Sam is a reporter for The Haitian Times and a 2020 Report for America fellow. He has covered Haiti and its diaspora since 2018. His work has also appeared in USA Today, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and...