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FWAF joins Allies at Action at Darden Shareholders Meeting in Orlando

As a new member of the Food Chain Workers Alliance, FWAF supported an action that was organized by an ally group which is taking a stand for workers in the restaurant industry.

On Tuesday, September 18th ROC, the Restaurant Opportunity Centers United, protested at the Darden company shareholders meeting in Lake Buena Vista, Florida by asking those with a stake in the company, “what is sustainable about a minimum wage that is the same as it was in 1991 and how do you justify a refusal to grant employees sick leave?” The Darden family of restaurants includes Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse,

You rock, Rollins!

On Saturday August 25th a group of incoming freshmen students from Rollins College visited the FWAF office in Apopka to participate in a Be A Part from the Start day event.  This program encourages students to do service for different organizations around the Central Florida area.  In Apopka they planted fruit trees and pepper plants that FWAF will share with the community.  This was a great experience for these young college freshmen and a tremendous opportunity to learn more about the farmworker experiences coming to this country and the dangers and challenges they faced.  You rock, Rollins!

Rollins College students for SPARC Day

On Saturday, August 18, the Farmworker Association of Florida hosted 17 Rollins College students for SPARC Day.  SPARC (Service, Philanthropy, Activism, Rollins College) is an annual event coordinated by Rollins' Office of Community Engagement, which involves entering college students in a day of service learning with several nonprofit organizations throughout Central Florida.  FWAF provided an educational program, followed by all of us working together in the Apopka Community Garden, alongside garden members.  The event provided students with information on farmworkers' essential role in the food system and efforts to increase local food production by community members in Apopka.  SPARC was an opportunity to "ignite a spark of passion to lead a life of service"!



We need your help! The Farmworker Association of Florida a finalist for a grant from the Rural Digital Advocacy Grant program. Our project, the Rural Florida Communications Project, will train rural community-based organizations that work with farmworkers, immigrants, and low-income persons to utilize Skype for video conferencing to advance advocacy and policy change activities. But we need your support! Please vote for us and share with your friends! With your support, we will be able to receive this important grant money, and help facilitate positive social change!

"Food Chain" Takes a Hard Look at Farmworkers' Lives

by Joanne Camas

July 10, 2012 at Epicurious

Film producer Sanjay Rawal has turned his camera on farmworkers and their hardscrabble working and living conditions in his new documentary, Food Chain.

Rawal has had 15 years of experience working for governments and nonprofits, and started making films three years ago. His first two films, Ocean Monk and Challenging Impossibility, have won several film festival awards.

So why look at farm workers now? "My academic background is in biology, and I'm also involved in my dad's tomato-breeding business," Rawal told Epicurious. "That's what gave me access and insight into the world of farm labor."

Who's Watching Out for Farm Workers Left Out in the Heat?

Hernan Vera at huffingtonpost.com

Sixteen-year-old Nicholas Chavez had a summer job in 2011. But unlike many boys his age, Nicholas' summer job consisted of helping his parents pick bell peppers in the scorching fields outside Bakersfield, California.

Last July, with temperatures still above 106 degrees in the evening, Nicholas joined his parents for a nine-hour shift starting at 6:00 p.m. Three hours later, Nicholas felt sick from the heat and the lack of water, and began to vomit. The farm labor contractor and foreman left him at the side of the road, and told him not to return the next day.

Go, Adan!!!!!!!

Latinos in Immokalee still weary of checkpoints

By Andre Senior in WFTX-TV

IMMOKALEE, Fla. - Safety checkpoints by the Collier County Sheriff's Department continues to draw suspicion from Hispanics in the Immokalee community. Many of them believe that the only reason that the checkpoints are in place is to track those who are undocumented, an accusation that the sheriff's department denies. "In Immokalee a lot of families feel alarmed and a lot of them feel terrorized because they're not sure if their family members will be coming home that day," said Adan Iabra, an advocate for farm workers in the area.

Latinos cast wary eye at high court's ruling on Ariz. law

Susanne Cervenka FLORIDA TODAY
Jun 25, 2012

FELLSMERE— Yolanda Gomez wears her U.S. passport around her neck when she Immigration Fellsmere Yolandagoes to the state capital to lobby for the migrant farm workers in Fellsmere.

She admits it’s an extreme measure, but it nips questions about her citizenship, which have resulted from requirements like those in Arizona’s immigrations laws, before they start.

“For the way I look, people try to speak Spanish to me,” said Gomez, a U.S. citizen since the 1980s and a community organizer for the Farmworker Association of Florida.

Farmworkers plagued by pesticides, red tape


By Ronnie Greene June 25, 2012


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Laboring in the blackberry fields of central Arkansas, the 18-year-old Mexican immigrant suddenly turned ill. Her nose began to bleed, her skin developed a rash, and she vomited.


The doctor told her it was most likely flu or bacterial infection, but farmworker Tania Banda-Rodriguez suspected pesticides. Under federal law, growers must promptly report the chemicals they spray.

Food Chain, Farmworkers, and Congresswoman Lee


There always seems to be more to do in a day than there are hours!


For almost a year, a dedicated group of people have been tirelessly working to bring about farmworker justice.  They are not your normal activists… They are not standing on the picket line, they are not fighting big agro-business in the courtroom, nor are they not organizing rallies.  Instead, they are using the power of the media, and more specifically film, to tell the story of American Farmworkers.


Check the full article in our blog

'Potential train wreck coming': Farmworkers in shorter supply in Southwest Florida

By TRACY X. MIGUEL / Naplesnews
Published Thursday, June 7, 2012


In the heat of immigration debate across the nation, increased border patrol and the recovering economy, Southwest Florida farms are struggling to get workers through the season.

Chuck Obern, owner of C & B Farms, a vegetable farm, in the Devil's Garden growing area in Hendry County, said he has struggled to find farmworkers in the last couple of years.


Report: Female farmworkers at risk for sex abuse

Grace Meng

Sunday, June 3, 2012, San Francisco Chronicle


Four years ago, "Patricia M." was working in an almond orchard in California. She was 23 years old, had come from Mexico only two years earlier and had no family in the United States. She says the foreman "bothered" her at first, offering her food and drink and telling her he could get her work. This made Patricia uncomfortable, so she always refused. On the end of the third day, the foreman dropped all the other workers off, but he took her to a remote field and raped her.




Together in the struggle for justice!


Today, we are launching our Letter Writing Campaign to Governor Rick Scott to express our deep disappointment in his veto of funding for the clinic in Apopka to help with the serious health care problems of the former Lake Apopka farmworkers.  $500,000 to address chronic, serious illness for people who worked all their lives so that we could have food seems like such a small price to pay for a people who have so marginalized and practically forgotten.  We will not let them down and we will not forget them!  Please help us reach our goal of sending 200 letters to the office of Governor Scott.  A SAMPLE LETTER is attached. 


We have lowered the quality to improve the streaming of the sample.


Lighthouse Project

What We Do: Estimated 12,000 farmworkers toil in fields of Immokalee

By Tracy X. Miguel - naplesnews.com April 22, 2012


Cristobal Calzada Guillen, 59, waits on the bus headed to a farm in Immokalee on April 3. Calzada Guillen has been a farmworker in Immokalee for 32 years, making $600 to $700 a month. He is currently helping harvest citrus at D&K Harvesting. Cristobal Calzada Guillen has spent more than half of his life picking crops in the fields near Immokalee. For the past 32 years, waking up at the crack of dawn to work under the sun, rain or cold has become his routine. "It's hard," the 59-year-old man said in Spanish.

Senate Bill 1070


After standing in a state of unknown for the past two years, the United States has finally taken up the historic immigration and civil rights case, Arizona vs. United States.  At the heart of the issue lies Arizona’s 2010 immigration law, Senate Bill 1070 (SB 1070). To the dismay of many advocates and allies within the immigrant rights community, the court case solely focused on whether or not the federal

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