2021 National Farmworker Awareness Week

Non-profit sponsors National Long-Sleeve Shirt Drive to Benefit Farmworkers
By: Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs
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WASHINGTON - March 24, 2021 - PRLog -- As a part of this year's National Farmworker Awareness Week, March 22-31, AFOP Health & Safety Programs is sponsoring its annual NATIONAL LONG-SLEEVE SHIRT DRIVE.  AFOP will collect as many long-sleeve shirts as possible, and then distribute them to farmworkers along with pesticide safety and heat stress prevention messages through its network of 250 trainers.

Why long-sleeve shirts? Each year, an estimated one billion pounds of pesticides are applied to U.S. farms, forests, lawns, and golf courses.  Farmworkers who plant, tend, and harvest the very food we eat are most exposed to the health hazards of those pesticides.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates 10,000-20,000 farmworker pesticide poisonings annually.  "A long-sleeve shirt can help a farmworker mitigate exposure to pesticides and decrease the chances of suffering a heat-related illness," observes Melanie Forti, AFOP's Health & Safety Programs Director.  Since 2014, AFOP has collected and distributed 80,884 long-sleeve shirts throughout the U.S.

This year, participants can donate their new or slightly used long-sleeve shirts in any of the AFOP drop-off locations or make a simple donation from the comfort and safety of their own home. To find the nearest drop-off location or how to donate, visit:  http://afop.org/nfaw/

AFOP has also for the first time launched a social media campaign "A SHIRT FOR A $1" to raise awareness of farmworker pesticide exposure and heat-related illnesses.  If an individual cannot donate a long-sleeve shirt because of coronavirus pandemic restrictions, he or she can make a donation from the safety of home.  For every $1 donated, AFOP will give a new long-sleeve shirt to a farmworker.  Donations can be made via PayPal or the Facebook donate button.

There is always a need and plenty of ways to get involved.  If we, as a nation, can come together, we can help give our nation's farmworkers a shot at a safer and healthier life.  Efforts do not have to end with this week of observance; AFOP urges people to connect with local farmworker organizations to get involved.

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 202-963-3200 or forti@afop.org.

The Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs is a non-profit, national federation of 53 non-profit and public agencies that provides training and employment services to migrant and seasonal farmworkers.  AFOP's mission is to improve the quality of life for those workers and their families by promoting self-sufficiency through employment and training opportunities, educational attainment, and health and safety.


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