This week, the Farmworkers Association of Florida (FWAF)will show appreciation for the essential work of our farmworkers nationwide during the National Farmworker Awareness Week March 25-31, 2022, and they invite you to join in!
This is an opportunity for farmworker supporters across Florida, and the country, to honor farmworkers’ important contributions and to raise awareness about the issues they face. This year’s theme will be Todos Unidos: Farmworker Communities & Activism Past and Present and will include different actions each day.
In the U.S., farmworkers uphold the agricultural industry while simultaneously being 400 times more likely to experience food insecurity than the general public. They work long, arduous hours under the most punishing of conditions, and are literally unable to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Farmworkers often face countless barriers when trying to get food, including low wages, poor or non-existent public transportation, and a lack of culturally-appropriate food. But this doesn’t have to be the reality.
As eaters, we can work to make sure the food we buy isn’t exploiting farmworkers. How? By supporting farmworker-led food programs, campaigns and opportunities, as shared below.
“Most people don’t think about farmworkers because we don’t see them. It is out of sight, out of mind," said FWAF general coordinator Nezahualcoyotl “Neza” Xiuhtecutli. "This week is an invitation to grow your awareness of the essential work that they do and of the challenges, they face as workers, immigrants, and as part of a rural population. Let’s not forget that our food system continues to rely on imported labor.”
FWAF Homestead Area Organizer Claudia Gonzalez speaks from experience when she emphasizes that farmwork takes a lot of skill. “For example picking okra at 3 am to avoid the heat or protecting yourself from okra skin irritation or from the sharp thorns that line lemon trees. I tried it but I couldn't work fast enough to make a living.”
FWAF will participate this week by offering an online campaign, a webinar, and free health clinics.
FWAF will offer free health clinics at several of their offices. Farmworkers have limited access to healthcare and are paying the cost of health inequity. They often have to travel long distances to get to a healthcare facility. Many are dependent on others for transportation.
On Tuesday, March 29 from 7 pm - 8 pm, FWAF invites you to tune in to the webinar What you can do to support Farmworkers. FWAF’s coordinator Pesticide Safety and Environmental Health Program, Jeannie Economos, is one of the speakers.
This webinar is being hosted by the National Farm Worker Ministry and the Farmworker Association of Florida. Join in to learn more about how you can make a positive difference in the lives of farmworkers through what you do and don’t buy.
In this free webinar you will learn about:
Join for this lively discussion, and invite your family and friends to participate too! You can share this flyer with others in your community.
Can’t attend live? You should still register! You will be sent the recording after the webinar if you are registered.
Another facet of this week is Cesar Chavez Day. On March 31st, his birthday, FWAF will honor his life and work as a civil rights and labor movement activist.
With your help, FWAF can continue to fight for a world where farmworkers’ contribution, dignity, and worth are acknowledged, appreciated, and respected through economic, social, and environmental justice. This vision includes farmworkers being treated as equals, and not exploited and discriminated against based on race, ethnicity, gender, or immigrant or socioeconomic status.
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