San Jose volunteers organize food drives for farm workers in the Salinas Valley – CBS San Francisco

SAN JOSE (KPIX) – Several San Jose volunteers are making sure a group of key workers is not overlooked in the coronavirus crisis.

“Thousands of farm workers left home during the pandemic, working in the fields and packing houses to put food on our tables,” said Darlene Tenes, a San Jose event planner and Latin American lifestyle entrepreneur who runs an event Organized trip to collect and deliver supplies to farm workers in the Salinas Valley.

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“It’s great to be helpful because someone helped my parents when I was a kid,” said Ira Dearing as she dropped off supplies at the San Jose Women’s Club.

People donated food, toilet paper, hygiene products, as well as masks, gloves and hand sanitizer.

“Farm workers are some of the most important ‘essential workers’ on the line right now. Not only do they help the sick, they help everyone, which is why it is so important for us to bring them face masks. “Tenes said.

It started as a small idea – just in Tenes’ neighborhood – but it hit the larger community on social media and it took off.

Members of the women’s club accepted donations, while others donated trucks that hauled the supplies to distribute to farm workers.

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A man tipped a check for $ 400 that he had collected.

“Farm workers are the people who suffer so that we can eat. These are noble people who deserve all the help we can give them, ”said Karl Soltero.

With the California growing season in full swing, many farm workers cannot afford to stay home.

Because many farm workers are undocumented, they do not qualify for state business reviews and lack regular health care or many worker protection measures.

“They are loaded into trucks, they live in migrant camps, which are often overcrowded and very exposed to the coronavirus. The coronavirus is currently strong in the farm worker community and no one is doing anything about it, ”Tenes said.

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On Saturday, the volunteers will deliver the supplies they have gathered and form a trailer to visit farm workers in the fields and honk their horns to show their appreciation in person.

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