Local organizations collect, distribute donated essential items, PPE to farmworkers in Oxnard

OXNARD, Calif. (KABC) -- Farmworkers help bring food to our tables each day, but in this pandemic, many have not been getting the help they need. Several local organizations are trying to change that.

Multiple groups, including Celebration Foundation, collected and distributed donations to farmworkers in the fields near Oxnard this weekend. The donations included food, water, hand sanitizer, wipes and PPE to keep farmworkers safe during the pandemic.

"All of this was made possible because of the community, working class, all types of donations coming in from everybody," said Flor Martinez, founder of Celebration Foundation.

"Farmworkers, they don't get the financial support or government support like stimulus checks or unemployment. So, we ourselves have to come out as a community to be able to provide them with basic essentials like food and home care and baby essentials as well," Martinez said.

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Given that farmworkers are deemed essential during the pandemic and due to their often cramped living conditions, COVID infection rates among farmworkers are high.

Donations have been focused on COVID safety items and other protective gear for the workers in the field.

"We're distributing all those items as well as hazard, dust pesticide resistant masks for farmworkers who are in season and those that aren't working at the moment, but do get back to work when they do," Martinez said.

Marciela, a farmworker, said she and others in the farmworker community do not have the means to buy extra things, like diapers for example. Through a translator, Marciela said she is happy for events like this, because it helps her family since they do not have much money.

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Ruth Rojas attended the event and picked up donated items for her mother, who is a farmworker in the strawberry fields.

"Sometimes, we'll be missing stuff and don't have enough money for it, so we come here and we get help from people," she said.

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