Without farmworkers, there would be no Thanksgiving harvests to feed the millions of people in the United States today. That is why, during this week, we are recognizing, honoring and thanking the hard-working farmworkers and their families who make our Thanksgiving feasts possible. The people who dig the sweet potatoes, pick the string beans, harvest the corn, cut the cabbage, toss the pumpkins into the trucks, reap and pack all the other fruits and vegetables that grace our tables are doing the work that is necessary to our survival. We depend upon them. Their work is our sustenance.
This week, we are making a special effort to honor and thank farmworkers in Florida and around the country. All year long, we work to get better protections for farmworkers from pesticide exposure. We take actions against cases of wage theft and harassment. We train farmworkers on their rights in the workplace and organize them to participate in issues of concern to them and their families. The community gardens are places for our farmworker members to build community, exchange ideas, pass on knowledge, and find joy and satisfaction. Yet, too many farmworkers still go hungry. There is much more yet to do to achieve equitable and just working conditions for this nation’s farmworkers.
As members of the Food Chain Workers Alliance, the Farmworker Association of Florida celebrates International Food Workers Week with stories about farmworkers who have made a difference in their communities. FWAF staff member, Miguel Zelaya, has worked in every kind of crop grown in Florida. He now dedicates his time to training and empowering other farmworkers in the community to work for social change and economic and social justice.
On Thanksgiving 2015, we hope you will join us in taking a moment on Thanksgiving to give thanks to farmworkers, to let your dinner guests know about the conditions farmworkers face, and to make a commitment to work for justice for farmworkers in 2016 and beyond.
We wish all our friends, allies and supporters a very happy Thanksgiving holiday season.
Sí, Se Puede!