The Farmworker Internet Connectivity project increases the number of farmworker labor camps that have reliable internet connectivity so that farmworkers can access lifesaving information throughout the pandemic and hurricane season, telehealth services, and can stay connected to their families to relieve the stress of isolation and quarantine.
Farmworkers are especially vulnerable in emergency situations.
Hurricanes, flooding, extreme heat, and most recently the COVID-19 pandemic, have all demonstrated the need for reliable communication with migrant farmworkers. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, migrant farmworkers have been especially hard hit due to crowded and often sub-standard housing conditions.
Most migrant farmworkers do not have access to the internet.
Without access to the internet, farmworkers are unable to reach healthcare providers, communicate about outbreaks, request outreach services and stay in touch with family and loved ones.
Internet connectivity is not a required service under the present migrant housing standards. Migrant farmworker housing is mostly located in rural areas with poor cell phone reception and without any kind of internet connectivity available.
Access to internet means access to care.
Through the Internet Connectivity Project, farmworkers gain access to telemedicine, social support, emergency communication and educational opportunities.
There are more than 1,000 migrant camps in North Carolina in rural areas with limited broadband access, making it difficult to have a one-size-fits-all internet connectivity solution.
In response, NCFHP, with the help of the NC Agromedicine Institute and many outreach partners, offers the following solutions:
- Distribution of MIFI hotspots with the help of community outreach partners
- Reimbursement and cost-share programs for farms that set up internet in migrant housing
- Partnerships to support expanded broadband in North Carolina, digital literacy education, and technology improvement
- Pilot Internet Hub Project for Migrant Housing. Download the flyer (PDF).