Wednesday, November 29, 2017

International Food Workers Awareness Week UCF

On Monday, November 20th, a group of curious UCF students and two campus professors attended a book signing of the book Fed Up by Dale Finely Slongwhite. Special guests in attendance were Linda Lee, local Apopka community activist who is featured in the book, and Jeannie Economos, FWAF Lake Apopka Project Coordinator.

In collaboration with The Youth and Young Adult Network of the National Farm Worker Ministry   (YAYA) and SLAP – the Student Labor Action Project at UCF, this event was hosted as part of International Food Workers Week, an annual week of awareness for all food workers coordinated by the Food Chain Workers Alliance . This year, IFFW was November 16th-25.  The event is held annually during the week of Thanksgiving to engage the public about the importance of food workers and to move people to take action. Events or actions around the U.S. are organized by the FCWA, member groups, and allies.

The group at UCF listened to the testimony of Linda Lee, as she spoke of her experiences working on the Lake Apopka Farms. Her words touched everyone in the room as they listened to her speaking of the struggles of working an arduous job on the farms and the impact of the injustice of pesticide exposure on her health and the health of all farm workers. Routes of exposure to dangerous pesticides are dermal, respiratory, and through ingestion. Serious skin rashes were common among the muck farm workers from direct contact with residues on plants, but workers also were sprayed directly or were exposed to pesticide drift from crop dusters and/or tractors. 

Linda Lee's story provided a window into the larger picture of injustices against farm workers everywhere. Although the Lake Apopka farms have been closed since 1998, the long term effects of pesticide exposure are generational and continue to affect family members of the farm workers of Lake Apopka. 

 To learn more about the Lake Apopka farmworkers, follow this link to purchase a copy of Fed Up or visit our Apopka main office location at 1264 Apopka Blvd., Apopka, FL 32703

Also in honor of International Food Workers week, the Lake Apopka Memorial Quilts will be displayed in Rollins Olin Library located in Winter Park FL. The display dates are November 21st- December 14th. 

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