We are facing a crisis. There are millions of farmworkers who put themselves at risk by continuing to pick, pack and plant the fruits and vegetables that families across America are depending on more than ever amid the COVID-19 crisis. The country is learning their work is critical, yet they earn poverty wages, work under substandard conditions, and face a myriad of health and other issues due to living/employment conditions. As the COVID-19 pandemic expands into rural America, these communities may be among the hardest hit due to their demographics and lack of resources.
Farmworkers are in grave danger. Not only do farmworkers labor shoulder-to-shoulder with each other, they can inhale pesticides or field dust, which can trigger serious respiratory problems – all of which puts them at an even greater risk during this pandemic. While the federal government has deemed farmworkers as essential workers, COVID-19 stimulus packages lack the necessary dedicated investments in rural health care.
There is a solution. Acclaimed Fashion Designer Mario De La Torre has teamed up with Justice for Migrant Women, Hispanic Heritage Foundation, and the National Center for Farmworker Health to launch a new initiative called #Masks4Farmworkers. This campaign will help limit the impact of this virus on farmworkers, their families, consumers and other community members by helping provide key resources. De La Torre and his team of designers will be sewing tens of thousands of masks to protect these vital members of America’s workforce and communities.
Additionally, Actor Nicholas Gonzalez from ABC’s television series The Good Doctor will serve as the main spokesperson for the campaign. “I am honored to be asked to be the spokesperson for the #Masks4Farmworkers campaign,” said Gonzalez. “The injustice and danger our migrant farmworker brothers and sisters face on any given day is a travesty. In our current fight with COVID-19, they are even more deadly. We all must stand for humane conditions and enhanced protections for those that provide us all with an essential, life-saving service. I humbly stand alongside Mario de la Torre, The Hispanic Heritage Foundation, National Center For Farmworker Health and the tireless Mónica Ramírez and Justice For Migrant Women.”
#Masks4Farmworkers is bringing critically needed resources to frontline staff, ensuring farmworkers continue to have access to health care services and stay abreast of information resources that can help them navigate this very complex and evolving crisis.
Over 1.285 million masks have been awarded via the #Masks4Farmworkers project.
Any contribution helps! Proceeds raised will go directly to farmworker communities to provide them with basic, yet essential, materials, including masks for the farmworkers as well as the healthcare professionals who serve them, groceries, hygienic supplies, diapers, formula, utilities and rent assistance and medical supplies and to assist with any medical care expenses. Checks can be mailed made payable to "Hispanics In Philanthropy" with #Masks4Farmworkers written in the check memo line. Please mail checks to Hispanics In Philanthropy at 414 13th Street, Suite 200, Oakland, CA 94612.
#Masks4Farmworkers is designed to raise the awareness and appreciation of farmworkers while mobilizing our communities to support the campaign. We are looking for financial support, donated materials, and homemade masks. Your generous donation can help us protect the farmworker community, their families, their healthcare providers and the security of our entire food supply.
Please fill out this form to indicate what materials you have available – we are looking for elastic and cotton fabric. Our team will reach out to facilitate the donation.
You may give your desired contribution here – remember, anything helps! Proceeds raised will go directly to farmworker communities to provide them with basic, yet essential, materials, including masks for the farmworkers as well as the healthcare professionals who serve them, groceries, hygienic supplies, diapers, formula, utilities, medical supplies and medical care.
Please fill out this form to let us know of your interest in donating homemade or manufactured masks. Whether you have some ready to go, or you know how to sew but need materials, do not hesitate to volunteer. After completing the form, our team will reach out to coordinate next steps.
Born and raised on the streets of south central LA, fashion designer Mario De La Torre knows what it is to sweat and struggle for art. Imparting a brutally honest vision of hood influences, west coast appeal and Chicano culture, De La Torre approaches his designs with an open mind and the intent to empower people including artists Bebe Rexha, Ashanti, Lauren Hill, and Iggy Azelea among others. Visit www.mariodelatorre.co, https://www.instagram.com/_mario_delatorre, and https://www.facebook.com/mariodelatorre.co/ to learn more about Mario.
The National Center for Farmworker Health (NCFH) is a private, not-for-profit corporation located in Buda, Texas, dedicated to improving the health status of farmworker families. We provide information services, training and technical assistance, and a variety of products to community and migrant health centers nationwide, as well as organizations, universities, researchers and individuals involved in farmworker health. (http://www.ncfh.org/)
The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) is a national nonprofit focused on education, workforce, culture and leadership. HHF is headquartered in Washington, DC, and Los Angeles with satellites in New York, Silicon Valley, and Miami. (www.HispanicHeritage.org)