Happening this week, National Farmworker Awareness Week seeks to honor the critical contributions of farmworkers.
Recognizing that 85 percent of our fresh fruits and vegetables are handpicked, farm work is a dangerous job, and that farmworkers are treated differently under the law, CFA members are joining in the effort to raise Americans’ consciousness of the workers’ plight.
Olga Garcia, CFA Los Angeles member and Cal State Los Angeles lecturer, said it’s time to erase the invisibility many farmworkers face.
“My father who’s a farmworker, he came to the United States when he was about 20 years old. And he picked tomatoes, onions, oranges in Northern California. I know from that experience in having a family member who was a farmworker, what that labor entails. … And we have to have more respect for farm workers in our country. They are the people who put food on our table and they deserve equality, they deserve justice, they deserve fair working conditions,” said Garcia while attending a United Farm Worker march in Sacramento last summer.
National Farmworker Awareness Week organizers are holding a long-sleeve shirt drive for those who harvest our food. A gently used long-sleeve shirt can help prevent exposure to pesticides by covering the skin which is the most common route of pesticide poisoning. The Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs has more information, including drop off locations.
CFA honors all farmworkers, including leaders like Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, and Larry Itliong who helped organize and unionize farmworkers to achieve safer working conditions, dignity, and respect.