• Emerald Casto

Farm Worker Awareness Week

National Farmworker Awareness Week: March 25-31, 2020.

Farmers feed the World!



National Farmworker Awareness Week (NFWA week) is a time brought forth by the Association of Farmworkers Opportunity Programs and Student Action with Farmworkers Association, to show appreciation to farmers: men, women, and children across the country who handpick three-quarters of all US produce. These individuals provide us with approximately 85 percent of the fresh fruits and vegetables we consume as a country, yet are very often not given the recognition they deserve. Along with raising awareness for fair working conditions, there is an initiative put in place by the AFOP and SAF to collect over 20,000 long-sleeved T-shirts to be donated to farmers across the country. (1,2)



Did you know that farming is the third most dangerous job in the United States?! These workers are often exposed to harsh chemicals and extreme heat that other wage earners do not have to face. As a result, the number of skin and lung disorders acquired by farmers is much higher than the average individual. Farmers also have to participate in manual labor every day which causes them to age sooner than other blue-collar workers. (1) Please read more to find out just what your local community is doing to help raise awareness of these conditions and do their part to stop farmworker injustice. (1)



COMPASS group has an ongoing partnership with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and The Fair Food Program. Without the ongoing efforts of farmers, we would not be able to experience everyday foods like orange juice, corn tortillas, or even whole wheat bread. COMPASS group and UNF Dining services place emphasis on safety for their employees while choosing healthy foods that are not stressful to the local environment.


Farmworkers deserve fair working conditions and the opportunity to advance their careers just as others in the workforce do. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is a human rights organization established in 1993 that has been recognized for Its efforts for improving the status of farmworkers, gender equality, and human trafficking. The Fair Food Program is an organization meant to protect the wages and working conditions for farmers, farmworkers, and factory workers who package the food. Before the efforts put in place by these organizations many of these individuals were put into harmful working conditions, worked extreme hours, and not provided with fair compensation. (3)



Look for the “Fair Trade” or Fair Trade symbol on your food items at the grocery and do what you can to aid in the effort to protect the working conditions of our farmers!


As always, Stay Healthy Ospreys!




References:

1. https://saf-unite.org/content/what-farmworker-awareness-week

2. https://afop.org/nfaw/

3. https://www.compass-usa.com/compass-group-celebrates-national-farmworker-awareness-week/

UNF Dining Services' Dietitian

Email Yemila: y.lowry@unf.edu

Bldg 8/1210-J

1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32224