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Here’s How Two Latino Supermarkets In California Are Helping The Communities Who Built Them Up

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Latino grocery chains Vallarta Supermarkets and Northgate Gonzalez Market are stepping up to help their community. The two grocery chains are donating tens of thousands of dollars to help members of their community with money for college or legal help for immigration matters. Latinos set a new record in 2016 with 47 percent of Latino high school graduates being enrolled in college, according to Pew Research Center. The current political rhetoric has changed the lives and futures of DACA recipients because of a new lawsuit attacking the program. Here’s how two grocery chains are trying to help members of their community prepare for a better future.

Vallarta Supermarkets is donating $110,000 to nine organizations to help Latinos get to college.

Rick Castillo, Marketing Director of Vallarta Supermarkets, said that the donation aligns closely with the business’s mission to “support education and the needy.”

“More and more Latino students are applying and are being accepted by colleges and universities,” Castillo said. “However, sometimes due to lack of financial resources they don’t complete the 4 or 5 year process to attain their degrees. We wanted to help address this issue.”

According to Pew Research Center, 3.6 million Latinos were enrolled in public and private universities in 2016. This is a 180 percent increase in Latinos in college since 1996 when 1.3 million Latinos were enrolled in higher education.

“The response [to the donation] has been overwhelmingly positive [from customers],” Castillo said. “We couldn’t be happier.”

Northgate Gonzalez Market then announced that they were giving $50,000 to organizations helping DACA recipients.

Northgate is donating the money from their May 1 sales. According to ABC7, Northgate started in Anaheim and has since grown to 40 stores across California.

“This contribution reflects the company’s values and the care and concern the Gonzalez family has for the DREAMers who are trying, as our family did, to live the American dream,” a Northgate spokesperson said in a press release, according to ABC7.


READ: Courts Have Ruled To Protect The DACA Program But These Seven States Didn’t Get The Memo

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WhatsApp Just Teamed Up With Walmart And It’s Going To Make Your Tías Love The App Even More

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WhatsApp Just Teamed Up With Walmart And It’s Going To Make Your Tías Love The App Even More

You may not give WhatsApp a second glance in the App Store, but in other countries, it’s the messaging app of choice.

It’s so big in Mexico, for instance, that Walmart Mexico is now accepting grocery delivery orders for its Superama supermarkets sent via the messaging app.

Walmart and WhatsApp team up to bring 24-hour home delivery to the masses.

Credit: @zyiteblog / Twitter

WhatsApp, the free text-messaging service owned by social media platform Facebook, is ubiquitous throughout Mexico. Superama shoppers can text an order to a WhatsApp number run by Walmart.

According to Walmart, customers can send their orders through WhatsApp to a number owned by Walmart – they don’t even have to type their list out. Many people have already tested the service and apparently, you can send the number a photo of a handwritten list and got a response from a representative immediately.

Yup, you can literally text the WhatsApp number a photo of your handwritten list.

Credit: @ChargedRetail / Twitter

Superama is charging about $2.55 for delivery within 90 minutes or $2 for orders with longer turnaround times. It also accepts payment in cash or card on delivery.

The Walmart-owned grocery chain, which makes up 92 of the retail giant’s 2,459 stores in Mexico, already takes orders through its website and app.

Clearly, though, it’s hoping that WhatsApp’s ubiquitous presence in the country will encourage more potential customers to give grocery delivery a shot.

And apparently, the representatives at the other end of that WhatsApp conversation are super helpful.

Credit: @dainabethcita / Twitter

Like who doesn’t want a response from Walmart full of emojis and helpful suggestions on buying the best of the best?! Everyone, that’s who!

Walmart already offers delivery through its own app, online, and via CornerShop.

Credit: @viajandoperdido / Twitter

But many are excited for the whole new market that this opens up and the novel use of an app that millions of people already use on a daily basis.

You could literally switch between a conversation with you tia about your novio and then chat with a representative at Walmart about which type of cereal you want delivered to your door.

Reactions across Twitter have been overwhelmingly positive.

Credit: @tridevgurung / Twitter

Many pointed out that people don’t have the smartphones required to run complicated apps – WhatsApp is a simple messaging service – meaning that mobile delivery service could be available to a wider audience.

READ: 20 Latino Brands That Are Clearly Superior To All Others

After Denying It, HUD Declares Federal Housing Administration Is No Longer Helping DACA Recipients With Housing Loans

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After Denying It, HUD Declares Federal Housing Administration Is No Longer Helping DACA Recipients With Housing Loans

In a blow to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says young undocumented immigrants will be ineligible for federally backed housing loans. The news comes after months of confusion about the policy for immigrants who were brought here as children. Back in April, Secretary of HUD, Ben Carson denied this at a congressional testimony but a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) official said last week DACA recipients are indeed not eligible for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans are intended to make homeownership more attainable for those with lower credit scores and incomes.

Credit:@hispaniccaucus/Twitter

“Because DACA does not confer lawful status, DACA recipients remain ineligible for FHA loans,” Len Wolfson, a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) official, wrote in a letter to California Democratic Rep. Pete Aguilar last Tuesday. “Determination of citizenship and immigration status is not the responsibility of HUD, and the Department relies on other government agencies for this information.”

The latest declaration is a reversal from HUD’s previous statements to questions about whether FHA is backing mortgages for DACA recipients. The Trump administration has been trying to rescind the Obama era policy but has been blocked by a federal judge from doing so.

“I’m sure we have plenty of DACA recipients who have FHA mortgages,” Carson said at a congressional hearing in April. “I would simply say that I have instructed everyone to follow the laws of the United States with regard to DACA, with regard to anyone who is an immigrant or a potential immigrant to this country, and as long as you continue to follow the laws you will have my approval.

In the letter, Wolfson put the blame on the Obama administration for the policy and its regulations. He references former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s letter from 2012 that DACA “confers no substantive right, immigration status or pathway to citizenship” for recipients.

Even after Carson said that “plenty of DACA recipients” were receiving FHA-backed loans, lenders were being told to do the exact opposite.

Credit:@buzzfeednews/Twitter

According to Buzzfeed News, After Carson denied the notion that DACA recipients weren’t being approved for FHA loans, many reported that they were still being denied help.

“The explanation we received from HUD is inconsistent with the realities on the ground and statements made by Secretary Carson to members of the Appropriations Committee, and it does nothing to clarify the confusion created by the agency’s inconsistent policies,” Aguilar said in a statement to BuzzFeed News last Thursday.

The FHA has never stated that receiving a loan means requiring citizenship or lawful status.

Credit:@senjackyrosen

DACA recipients had previously never faced problems when applying for federally-backed housing assistance. FHA has also never had a clear policy that pertains to DACA recipients. According to the FHA’s single-family housing handbook, a housing guide the agency refers lenders to, notes that an Employment Authorization Document, which DACA recipients possess, is necessary “to substantiate work status” for noncitizens and qualifies them for such loans.

Under the Obama administration, HUD was supporting DACA borrowers under these circumstances. Yet the Trump administration has clearly enforced these guidelines differently.

“We know that DACA recipients have received these loans in the past, and it’s shameful that HUD is allowing the president’s anti-immigrant agenda to dictate housing policy,” Aguilar told Buzzfeed News.

This news comes out as the House Financial Services Committee last Wednesday passed a bill, Homeownership for DREAMers Act, that guarantees DACA recipients have the right to obtain federally backed mortgages.

This means recipients also can not be denied based on their immigration status. The bill is set to go to the House floor for approval, but many believe it’s unlikely the bill will pass the Republican-held Senate or be signed into law by the president.

READ: With Democrats Now In Charge Of The House, What Does That Mean For DACA Moving Forward?

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