Farmworker Association of Florida Inc. (FWAF) Overview
Target demographics: The constituency and members of FWAF are multi-racial, multi-ethnic, and multi-cultural. FWAF works in communities composed of low-income, ethnic-minority, migrant and seasonal farmworkers, many of whom are documented or undocumented immigrants, with little or no formal education, and who speak little if any English. A large percent live in overcrowded, substandard rental housing, and have no health insurance or worker benefits.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 2500+
Geographic areas served: FWAF works with farmworkers and other low-income immigrants in 15 counties throughout Central and South Florida. FWAF's offices are located in: Apopka (Orange County); Pierson (Volusia); Fellsmere (Indian River); Homestead (Miami-Dade); and Immokalee (Collier).
Programs: FWAF activities include leadership development; pesticide safety and environmental health education and training; community organizing to improve farmworker housing, wages, working conditions, and transportation; immigrants’ and workers’ rights advocacy; sustainable agriculture initiatives; sustainable economic development initiatives; disaster preparedness and response; vocational rehabilitation for farmworkers; healthy pregnancy and women’s health education and training; partnering in community/academic research studies that focus on farmworker health concerns (currently farmworker women’s reproductive health and citrus picker’s eye safety); training and assistance for Latino small farmers; and participating in local, statewide, regional, and national coalitions and collaborations to develop common ground on pertinent issues to work for progressive change.
• Coordinated more than 60 former farmworkers in the creation of two vibrant, powerful Quilts to commemorate the decades of hard work of Lake Apopka farmworkers, and coordinated the display of these Quilts at more than 20 venues, viewed by more than 2,000 persons.
• Defeated a policy by the utility company in Immokalee of requiring customers to show citizenship or residency identification in order to receive water and electric utility service.
• Victory to keep the Redlands Christian Migrant Association after school and summer kids program open; defeated the Homestead Housing Authority in trying to shut down the program and close the school.
• Won Florida restrictions stronger than federal EPA regulations on methyl iodide use in Florida.
• Conducted trainings on the detection, diagnosis, treatment, and reporting of pesticide exposure in farmworkers for 189 health providers from 14 health care facilities.
• Initiated a partnership with the City of Fellsmere to create a community farm run by and for farmworker families which, in its first year, logged more than 2,000 volunteer hours, distributed fresh produce to more than 100 families, and expanded to a second site.
• With Emory University, initiated a farmworker women’s reproductive health research study.