Thursday, December 01, 2005

Hurricane Wilma Hits Florida Farmworker Communities

From National Farmworker Ministry E-News, October 27, 2005

Florida farmworker communities were hit hard by Hurricane Wilma. In rural Hendry County, where many of the residents are farmworkers living in trailers, an estimated 60 percent of the homes were damaged or destroyed; in Immokalee, another farmworker center, at least 100 housing units were destroyed and many more heavily damaged.

The storm caused more than $1 billion in damage to farms, groves, nurseries and packing plants. There are estimates that more than 30,000 workers will be out of work throughout the winter season and many will not qualify for disaster assistance due to lack of proper documentation. Others with documents don't access assistance programs out of fear that getting assistance will count against them when they seek legalization. Without cash and disaster unemployment assistance workers will have to move on and lose the opportunity to work in replanting and harvesting as agriculture recovers in the coming months.

Pictures of the Hurricane's effect on the Immokalee farmworker community Assistance can be sent to National Farm Worker Ministry, 438 N. Skinker Blvd., St. Louis MO 63130 and mark checks for disaster relief.


Post a Comment

<< Home