Achievements include securing a historic $655 million pandemic relief allocation through the USDA for farm and food workers negatively affected by the pandemic
Today, UFW Foundation released its first impact report, covering efforts carried out by the UFW Foundation from 2020-2022. Highlights from the impact report include:
- The UFW Foundation has continued its mission to empower the most vulnerable communities, providing $23 million in emergency relief assistance payments during the pandemic.
- We administered over 37,000 COVID-19 tests during this time period with a total of 125,362 farm workers assisted. Furthermore, over 2.8 million masks/protective equipment were distributed.
- The UFW Foundation assisted in the food distribution process for low-income families during the pandemic, with 147,620 food boxes and 247,825 culturally-appropriate meals given out to families in need.
- Through community events, the UFW Foundation helped 40,307 persons in rural communities receive their COVID-19 vaccinations.
Additionally, our advocacy work kept pushing for better policies at the local, state and federal level, including:
- We advocated for the establishment of a historic U.S. Department of Agriculture $655 million financial assistance program for farm and food workers negatively affected by the pandemic. In doing so, our organization secured a $97.8 million USDA grant to administer this assistance nationwide, in coordination with several other organizations, providing $600 to each eligible farm worker.
- As we have always done, we continued to advocate for an equitable pathway to legalization for farm workers through the successful passage of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act in the US House of Representatives in 2021 and the introduction of the Affordable and Secure Food Act Senate version in 2022.
- We mobilized a coalition of labor, immigrant, and human rights organizations and urged the Biden administration to conduct a thorough investigation of the H-2A guest worker program after the exposure of human trafficking, slavery, and money laundering abuses in the Georgia “Operation: Blooming Onion” case.
Esther Ruiz, a farm worker from Arizona and UFW Foundation member, said:
“I am very proud to be a farm worker leader for the UFW Foundation. I have been working in the fields for over twenty years and I have never seen an organization that really cares for us this much. Their commitment to helping our community gives us a sense of unity and belief. I have participated in several meetings, from traveling to Washington, D.C. to advance the Farm Workforce Modernization Act to meeting with Labor Secretary Marty Walsh to discuss improvements in the H-2A program. You see, farm workers have been left to fend on their own for so long, having a trusted organization such as the UFW Foundation makes a difference in our lives.”
Diana Tellefson Torres, UFW Foundation CEO, said:
“The COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately impacted farm workers, immigrants, low-income families, and rural communities. We knew something had to be done to support farm workers during these incredibly difficult times. The UFW Foundation is proud to have provided vital services to our communities and assisted thousands of farm workers to help them get through the pandemic. Thanks to the help of our members, volunteers, stakeholders, donors, and federal agencies, the UFW Foundation was able to provide over $20 million in emergency relief payments, conducted vaccination events, and food distribution to the most vulnerable. While we are proud of the significant work done so far, it is of utmost importance, especially in the current climate, to ensure the continued support for farm workers beyond the pandemic.”
The UFW Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, advocates for labor rights and protections for farm workers across the U.S. and provides educational outreach and critical services such as immigration legal services to low-income rural California communities. For more information, visit ufwfoundation.org
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