Michael Couch wrote -
California’s drought has affected us all in some way or another. Whether our lawns have gone brown or we've paid a bit more for a basket of strawberries, we are all feeling the effects of a dry winter. While the drought has become an inconvenience for the majority of us, California’s migrant workers are struggling to survive due to a decrease in jobs, wages and an inability to speak up.
The drought has lead to a reduction in planting by 30% to 40% resulting in a severe drop in production, all adding up to an estimated loss of over 17,000 jobs through 2016. Not only are jobs being lost, but wages are decreasing as more and more are willing to work for less and less. Adding insult to injury, 90% of California’s migrant workers are undocumented, limiting both their bargaining power and ability to receive government aid. A decrease in both job opportunities and wages has left the majority of farm worker families hungry for much more than just food.
We got a crazy idea a few months back to bike through California’s Central Valley from San Francisco to Los Angeles, and experience the impact of the drought first hand. California is responsible for producing over half of the country’s fruits, veggies and nuts, including the majority of the nation’s strawberries. In an attempt to give back to a group of people that give us so much, we will be raising money for The Center for Farmworker Families along the way (http://www.farmworkerfamily.org/). The Center for Farmworker Families, located in Felton, CA, promotes the educational advancement of farm workers and their families in Santa Cruz County, while supporting projects to promote their financial and nutritional well being.
On August 5th we will bike a little over 470 miles from San Francisco’s 4th and King Caltrain station to the Santa Monica pier to raise money for Santa Cruz county’s migrant workers. The money you donate will go directly toward putting food on families’ tables, purchasing school supplies and paying medical bills.