New program launches aimed at protecting farm workers

New program launches aimed at protecting farm workers

Taylor Martinez

A new program aiming to protect essential farm workers and food processing workers across Riverside County begins taking applications Wednesday, Sept. 16.

The Riverside County Housing for the Harvest program provides temporary housing options, including hotel and motel rooms, for COVID-19 positive or exposed agricultural workers if they are unable to self-isolate at home.

Riverside County is partnering with the TODEC Legal Center on this program that also includes meals, transportation, wellness checks and a $2,000 stipend to cover lost work.

Farm workers seeking assistance through this program can call TODEC Legal Center at 888‑863‑3291. The application will be done over the phone, and the hotline will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Assistance will be provided in English, Spanish and Purépecha.

“I am proud we have established this county program with the TODEC Legal Center to help the farm worker community and workers involved in food production across our county,” said Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “This will really help farm workers protect their family members, and have the support to cover lost work. What a great day, on this Mexican Independence Day, September 16, a day of celebration, to have this program up and running for our community.”

“I am very excited that our county family is partnering with the California Department of Food and Agriculture in recognizing our agricultural essential workers during these unprecedented times,” stated Riverside County Agricultural Commissioner Ruben Arroyo.

“We are proud to be part of this effort that recognizes and values our county’s most vulnerable essential workers, by bringing long overdue relief to our county’s pride, our farm workers,” said Luz Gallegos, Community Programs Director for TODEC Legal Center.

This information is from the Office of Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez

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