South Bay Farmworkers’ Children Toy Drive seeks donations

Farmworkers have had a tough year, with many unable to work due to an unusually wet winter. This has left them without pay, prompting groups like Catholic Charities and Farmworker Caravan to join forces to help feed families and bring joy to children on Cinco de Mayo in Gilroy. The organisations are collecting toys and holding a celebration, with food baskets, family aid and social services. However, the toy collection room is almost empty, with Darlene Tenes of the Farmworker Caravan saying, “We’re really short on toys this year…we got half the amount that we expected.”

Farmworker families have been struggling due to the loss of income and hours. Araceli Gonzales from Catholic Charities explained, “We have been helping a couple families that haven’t been working. Loss of income, loss of hours, and just trying to provide.” Given that farmworkers are essential workers providing the country with food throughout the pandemic and beyond, it is imperative that we support them in return.

The charities’ support is focused on the children of farmworkers who are not able to enjoy playtime during summer as they spend their time working in the fields. Darlene Tenes said, “They’re working in the fields, so when they can have a moment when they’re not working, we want to just give them something.” The charities are trying to give these children a special moment of fun on Cinco de Mayo by providing them with toys.

Aside from the toys, the charities are also providing food assistance, health checks and social services to help families in a more practical way. Darlene Tenes stressed the importance of thanking farmworkers for their work, saying, “These are farm workers that take care of not just us during the pandemic, but every day of the year. Every time you sit down to eat, you need to thank a farm worker for that.”

In conclusion, it is critical to recognize the plight of farmworkers and support them in every way possible. The Cinco de Mayo event shows the commitment of charities to support these essential workers, but more assistance is required. We must appreciate their hard work in providing us with food and assisting them in times of need, such as the current pandemic.

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