Last week, a new initiative was launched to provide COVID-19 education and resources to farmworkers and their families in Homestead and Florida City. The project is a collaboration between the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), the Centro Campesino Farmworker Center, and the Health Foundation of South Florida. Working as a collaborative, the team is conducting door-to-door canvassing to encourage testing and educate the community about COVID-19 safety.
“Our farmworker community has been devasted by COVID-19,” said farmworker Pedro Jacinto. “Many of my colleagues have lost their lives. The government claims we are essential yet refuses to help us.”
The teams will survey the migrant farmworker community in Homestead about how COVID-19 has impacted them, whether they had been tested, and offering at-home testing and personal protective equipment. Every participating household receives a care package with masks for the family, other gifts, and vital information regarding COVID-19 resources. The project is hoping to reach 15,000 farmworker households.
“Governor DeSantis wants to pretend COVID-19 is already over,” said Guadalupe de la Cruz, who serves as the Farmworker Program Director for AFSC in Florida. “But farmworkers in Florida are still struggling and getting sick. As AFSC, we will collect our own data to show the impact of the pandemic in our community. We will continue to respond to the needs of farmworkers and do the job our government is failing to do.”
The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace and humanitarian service. Its work is based on the belief in the worth of every person and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.
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