(WorldFrontNews Editorial):- Salinas, California Feb 13, 2021 (Issuewire.com) – DIVERSE COALITION REQUESTS SPECIAL ALLOCATION OF COVID-19 VACCINES FOR MONTEREY COUNTY AGRICULTURE SECTOR
A broad-based coalition of Monterey County farmers, growers, business groups, labor advocates, and hospitality partners calls on the Governor to request 55,000 additional vaccines for the Agricultural community in addition to Monterey County’s regular allocation. The coalition includes Coastal Growers Association, Grower-Shipper Association of Central California, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey Bay Central Labor Council, Monterey County Cannabis Industry Association, Monterey County Farm Bureau, Monterey County Hospitality Association, Monterey County Vintners and Growers, Teamsters Local 890, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5, United Farm Workers, and United Farm Workers Foundation.
“The Ag workforce has no option to work at home; they are critical to the nation’s food supply. By protecting this workforce, we will reduce the susceptibility to and prevalence of COVID-19 throughout the County,” shared Cesar Lara, Executive Director – Monterey Bay Central Labor Council. “This unique partnership came together because we recognized that if the largest and most vulnerable workforce in the County gets vaccinated, it will have an exponentially positive impact on the entire County – both from a community health and an economic perspective.”
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Monterey County farmers and their employees are some of the most impacted and vulnerable individuals in the State. Despite best efforts, Monterey County has been disproportionately impacted by the effects of COVID-19. An estimated 16,500 farmworkers have contracted COVID-19, and in Salinas alone, one in five fieldworkers has now fallen ill with COVID-19.
“Within the next two months, up to 15,000 farmworkers will begin coming in from Yuma, Arizona, Southern and Central California, and some from other states to support the growing season in Monterey County,” said Christopher Valadez, President – Grower-Shipper Association of Central California. “This influx of farmworkers is in addition to the approximately 40,000 farm and food workers who live in Monterey County year-round and will begin to ramp up seasonal production.”
The Monterey County Agricultural community, led by the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California, collaborated with Clinica De Salud and others to design an industry-based pilot program that will effectively distribute vaccinations to the entire Agricultural community. The vaccination delivery infrastructure is ready to go as soon the State provides the allocation of vaccines.
Monterey Bay Central Labor Council
931 E. Market St.