2019 National Farmworker Awareness Week
Non-profit sponsors National Long-Sleeve Shirt Drive to Benefit Farmworkers
Farmworkers who bring food to our tables are exposed more than anyone else to the health hazards of pesticides. Among the approximate 2 million US agricultural workers, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that doctors diagnose between 10,000-20,000 pesticide poisonings annually. "A long-sleeved shirt can help a farmworker reduce exposure to pesticides and decrease the chances of suffering a heat-related illness" states Melanie Forti, AFOP's Health & Safety Programs Director.
During National Farmworker Awareness Week (NFAW), March 25-31, AFOP's Health & Safety Programs is sponsoring its annual National Long-Sleeve Shirt Drive. This year they are aiming to surpass the number of long-sleeved shirts collected nationwide in 2018 (13,062). After the shirts are collected, they will be distributed with pesticide safety and heat stress prevention messages among the farmworker community through AFOP's network of 208 trainers.
As a nation we can come together and help provide a safer and healthier life for our nation's farmworkers. There is always a need and plenty of ways to get involved, and your efforts don't have to end with this week of observance. "From my experience many people do not realize what farmworkers actually do," commented Jody Stutzman. "Giving the farmworkers the shirts is great and can be life-saving. I think the most rewarding part comes from collecting the shirts and talking to people about who migrant farmworkers are and how they contribute to our country, state, and local economy."
Since 2014, AFOP has collected and distributed 47,333 long-sleeve shirts throughout the US. This year everyone will have the opportunity to donate their slightly-used long-sleeved shirts in 128 drop-off locations in 21 states, including Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. To find the nearest drop-off location please visit http://afop.org/
AFOP Health & Safety Programs strives to empower the farmworker community through health and safety education, resources and advocacy. For additional comment or an interview, please contact Melanie Forti, Director of Health & Safety Programs, at 202-384-1771 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs is a non-profit, national federation of 52 non-profit and public agencies that provide training and employment services to migrant and seasonal farm workers. AFOP's mission is to improve the quality of life for migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families by providing advocacy for the member organizations that serve them. That means securing the same rights and benefits for farmworkers that the rest of the American people enjoy.