Farm workers in Madera receive personal protective equipment donations

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MADERA, Calif. (KSEE) — A generous donation including protective gear was donated to one Madera Farm on Wednesday.

Senator Anna Caballero teamed up with the California Farmworker Foundation and other organizations to give farm workers food, hand sanitizer, and personal protective equipment.

“It’s really important that we provide resources , like PPE that’s needed for our essential workers,” said Caballero. “And farm workers are essential workers.”

During the donation farm workers asked the senator questions they had about working through this pandemic and what she is doing to make sure they stay safe. 

The farm workers also applauded and thanked her and the other organizations who stepped up to give them the much needed equipment.

“We eat because they work and we eat because the farmers continue to risk everything that can come their way and they continue to farm,” said Caballero. “So, that’s what this is about. It’s to say in unity that it’s not just about urban centers it’s also about rural California.”

Farm workers tend to already work long days without the threats of a pandemic. So, trying to do a job that is already challenging by adding social distancing can be stressful for some.

Shaun Ramirez, Safety Manager for the Specialty Crop Company says he has briefed many farm workers on staying safe during this pandemic and a lot of them take it upon themselves to go above and beyond. 

“I mean we have done plenty of training with them about coronavirus but they have really taken the initiative to separate themselves,” said Ramirez. “Even during break times and you see they put a good distance between the next person they are having lunch with.”

But even keeping six feet apart while working many farm workers say they still worry about not having the proper protective equipment. 

Board member with California Farmworker Foundation, Luis Katsurayama says many farm workers have spoken up over their concerns during this pandemic. 

“Especially in today’s crisis that we have on hand,” said Katsurayama. “Because the unknown is what is creating the anxiety among the farm workers.”

However, by handing out bottles of hand sanitizer, a box of masks, and food donated by the Central California food bank the farm workers can continue doing their essential work. 

“By joining efforts with the State Senator and the food banks we are able to put together this effort to  help the farm workers stay healthy and not only here at work but also at home,” said Katsurayama.

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