On Saturday, I was lucky to help out at La Clinica del Cariño’s annual food drive for the migrant farm workers who come to our area to pick cherries. Most of these farm workers are migrants who have arrived for 6 weeks from California for the cherry harvest before moving on to Washington or other areas. They have their families with them and spend their last paycheck from California on gasoline to get here. That means that for their first two weeks here before their first paycheck for picking cherries, they frequently don’t have enough money for food.
A few years ago, La Clinica’s Health Promoters stepped in to make sure the farm workers aren’t going hungry–especially their children. This year, as funding dipped for La Clinica, our program Nuestra Comunidad Sana filled in as volunteers to coordinate the drive.
This weekend, I helped sort and bag over 3,000 lbs of food. A HUGE thank you to employees of the Mid Columbia Medical Center, who donated more than 1,000 lbs of food. We also had a lot of local stores donate food. One of the best things about this food drive is that the food we collect is healthy and culturally appropriate–rice, pinto beans, flour, tortillas, tomato sauce, bananas, carrots, lettuce, halepeños, and avocados.
For two hours on Saturday afternoon at City Park in The Dalles, a small group of volunteers from La Clinica and Nuestra Comunidad Sana distributed 119 bags of food to feed 315 adults and 222 children. With some food leftover, my family drove with Health Promoter Toña Sanchez to Mosier and distributed 73 more bags of good at four orchard camps to hundreds of people. All in all, a great day’s work!