Farmworkers experiencing food insecurity face unique obstacles, including geographical, transportation, and economic barriers, to access resources like nutritious food for their families.
FIND Food Bank President & CEO Debbie Espinosa addressed those specific needs on Wednesday, June 22 during the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) in Washington, D.C. The Caucus is a legislative committee comprised of 38 members of the U.S. Congress who are of Latino and Hispanic descent who work on addressing issues affecting Latino and Hispanic Americans.
Dolores Huerta, the labor leader and civil rights activist who co-founded the National Farmworkers Association with Cesar Chavez, was in attendance along with committee chairman, Rep. Dr. Raul Ruiz (CA-36).
FIND CEO was invited to speak on FIND’s hunger relief programs working to increase food security for Coachella Valley farmworking communities and others facing hunger.
“It was an honor to receive this invitation to speak among so many dedicated civil servants and legendary advocates. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus members heard directly from organizations like FIND whose programs are making a daily impact on farmworkers and their families.” Espinosa said. “This meeting served as an opportunity to make meaningful steps forward to address issues impacting farmworkers by increasing food security for everyone in the Coachella Valley desert region.”
FIND partners with UC Riverside, Borrego Health, California Farmworkers Foundation, Growing Coachella Valley, and regional growers to develop specific programs tailored to farmworkers’ needs that remove barriers to accessing nutritious food. FIND launched Mercado Campesinos, or ‘Market for farmers’ during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 to eliminate geographical and transportation barriers for farmworkers experiencing food insecurity by delivering food to those in need directly at their workplace.
On June 23, Debbie also met with Senator Padilla’s (CA) staff to further discuss the future of these programs.
Organizations represented at the Caucus meeting included,
- Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, Inc.
- California Farmworker Foundation
- Campesinos Sin Fronteras (CSF)
- Centro Binacional para el Desarollo Indigina Oaxacaqueño
- Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc.
- Cierto Global
- Child Labor Coalition
- Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute
- Desert Healthcare District and Foundation (DHCD/F)
- Dolores Huerta Foundation
- East Coast Migrant Head Start Project
- Farmworker Justice
- Líderes Campesinas
- Migrant Clinician’s Network
- National Migrant & Seasonal Head Start Association
- Rural Coalition
- TODEC Legal Center
- United Farm Workers of America (UFW)
- United Farm Workers Foundation
- University of California, Riverside School of Medicine
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus members who attended,
- Speaker Nancy Pelosi
- CHC Chair Raul Ruiz, M.D.
- CHC Member Senator Alex Padilla
- CAPAC Chair Judy Chu
- CHC Deputy Chair Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán
- CHC Vice Chair of Policy Rep. Darren Soto
- CHC Whip Rep. Sylvia Garcia
- CHC Vice Chair of Member Engagement Rep. Tony Cárdenas
- CHC Vice Chair of Communications Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández
- CHC Freshman Representative Rep. Ritchie Torres
- CHC Member Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García
- CHC Member Rep. Linda Sánchez
- CHC Member Rep. Lou Correa
- CHC Member Rep. Salud Carbajal
- CHC Member Rep. Jimmy Gomez