Farmworkers on a bus

Floridians are calling on Governor Ron DeSantis to immediately take all the possible steps, along with the local and federal government, to protect farmworkers in Immokalee from the COVID-19 pandemic, starting with the following urgent measures:  

  1. Set up a field hospital in Immokalee in order to provide quarantine space and treatment for farmworkers with positive cases of COVID-19
  2. Provide personal protective gear and hand sanitizer to farmworkers, given that they are an “essential workforce”
  3. Provide free, accessible COVID-19 tests in Immokalee
  4. Allocate public funds for economic relief for Florida farmworkers

Unless these measures are taken, Immokalee will become an epicenter of contagion with grave consequences not only for the agricultural community of Immokalee but also for the agricultural industry of Florida and the food supply chain of the entire United States. 

Make no mistake: Immokalee is like dry tinder in the path of a wildfire.  

The federal government has officially declared farmworkers as part of the “critical infrastructure workforce”. Like firefighters and doctors, farmworkers are going into the fields each day so we can survive this crisis.  

But here’s the problem: farmworkers are more vulnerable – at home and at work – to contracting the coronavirus. They live in overcrowded housing, are transported in packed vans and buses, and too often have no personal protective gear. Furthermore, Immokalee does not have a hospital to quarantine and treat positive cases. 

Simply put, without farmworkers, there is no food. A crisis in Immokalee will affect not only the residents of Southwest Florida, but also millions of families around the country who are depending on the shelves of their local supermarkets to be stocked in the months ahead.

Email Gov. DeSantis’ office today and urge him to protect the health of Florida farmworkers:

Governor DeSantis: Take action now!