A refugee’s American dream ended with a police shooting on the packing line

Chiewelthap Mariar was about three years old when his family, Christians from South Sudan, fled the aggression of the Muslim-led government in the north. As Ted Genoways writes in FERN’s latest story, published with The New Republic, Chiewelthap was shot and killed at the plant on Jan. 9 by a Guymon police officer, apparently during a dispute with his managers over his work assignment.

Covid-19 looms over refugee camp on the U.S.-Mexico border

Since 2019, a crisis has been unfolding across the U.S.-Mexico border from Brownsville, Texas. About 2,000 refugees, largely from Central America, have been stranded in a riverside encampment, wholly dependent on humanitarian groups for food and other basic needs. Feeding them before Covid-19 was a daunting task for the aid groups, but the pandemic has made food delivery considerably more complicated, says FERN’s latest story. (No paywall)

Tucson gleaning group offers refugees healing through food waste

In Tucson, the Iskashitaa Refugee Network is helping refugees heal from trauma by gleaning fruit from backyards across the city. “Iskashitaa — which means 'working cooperatively together' in Somali Bantu, the ethnicity of many early volunteers — provides more than just healthy food,” writes Jonathan Bloom in FERN’s latest story, published with NPR’s The Salt.

Canada’s guest farmworker program accused of human rights abuses

With Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau taking to Twitter to welcome immigrants to his country, Canada has gained a reputation for being friendly to new arrivals. But now the nation’s guest farmworker program has come under scrutiny for human rights abuses and treatment that is anything but hospitable.

Right-wing radio host apologizes to Chobani for lies about refugees

Alex Jones, the right-wing host of the radio show InfoWars, says he was wrong to link the Greek yogurt company Chobani LLC and its owner, Hamdi Ulukaya, to a 2016 child-sex-abuse scandal and a rise in tuberculosis cases in Twin Falls, Idaho, where the company is located.

Japanese-American farmers remember WWII incarceration camps

In FERN’s latest story, with KQED’s California Report, reporter Lisa Morehouse returned with some of the survivors of Japanese-American internment camps and their relatives to the Lake Tule camp in Northern California, where 15,000 Japanese-Americans, many of them farmers, were forced to grow food for the U.S. government. Understandably, many Japanese-Americans were deeply troubled by President Trump’s announcements of a refugee ban and suggestion of a Muslim registry.

Somalis bring camel meat to the Midwest

In Minnesota, American restaurant-goers are discovering camel meat, a prized food among Somali refugees in the state and an environmental pest in Australia, says Erica Berry in FERN’s latest story with NPR’s The Salt. Traditionally nomadic, the Somali community has relied on camels for milk …

Global food insecurity increases due to armed conflict

Civil conflicts and their consequences, including refugees needing food in neighboring countries, are a factor in 21 of the 39 countries that need food assistance, says the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in a quarterly report. Warfare in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan and Nigeria has disrupted food supplies for at least 40 million people, it said.

Chobani owner is a target of right-wing extremists

Hamdi Ulukaya, the founder of Chobani yogurt, has become a target of far-right groups angry that he employs 300 refugees in his factories, says the New York Times. Some critics have called for boycotting Chobani, while the company's Twitter feed and Facebook page have been lit up with racist comments.