Tag: Fair Food Program

How Mothers in Immokalee, FL Are Fighting Poverty

It may seem hard to believe that this close to one of the wealthiest cities in Southwest Florida, that people are suffering in severe poverty. Yet, in Immokalee, Florida that is precisely what is happening. While most people are unaware of the extent of Southwest FL poverty, the NCC Poverty Initiative has fortunately stepped in and is doing what it can to help out by sharing a series of uplifting stories and prayers for mothers and their children who are suffering each day from the effects of being poor.

Immokalee, FL is a small town just east of Naples, FL. It’s hard to believe that, with Naples having some of the wealthiest real estate communities such as Lely Resort, Pelican Bay, and – right down the road from Immokalee – Heritage Bay.

With Mother’s Day on the horizon, one of the farmworker leaders of CIW (the Coalition of Immokalee Workers) has become a voice for better wages and better working conditions on the many farms where she and her fellow employees go to work every day.

Her name is Lupe, and though originally from Guatemala, she has lived in Immokalee for over 10 years, working the fields and harvesting vegetables – many times doing it under some of the worst conditions imaginable. Everyone who lives (or has stayed any length of time) in Southwest Florida can imagine doing a job like this during the summer months, when temperatures soar and the blistering sun is at it’s peak.

Yet today we are seeing a major shift in the agricultural industry, and this can be attributed to the blood, sweat and tears that have been put in by mothers and other workers like Lupe. After 20 years of hard work to make it happen, we now have programs such as the Fair Food Program – which was recently hailed by the White House as being one of the most innovative and successful programs in the modern day fight against slavery.

Now Lupe spends her days (when she’s not bust taking care of her family) working full time to educate other workers on the rights that they have recently been given – one of the biggest among these being their right to work without being subjected to sexual harrassment.

While there is still a long way to go in the fight against Southwest FL poverty, stories such as Lupe’s can give us all hope for the future.