SANTA MARIA, Calif. – The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is stepping up its efforts to help farmworkers at high risk of contracting COVID-19 in Santa Maria.
As the pandemic continues to surge across the region, the foodbank decided to create the 'Farm Workers Program' to help low-income families in the farming industry.
It is working with the community health center to not only provide emergency food assistance, but also nutrition and COVID-19 education.
Organizers say many of these farm workers are not employed during the winter season, making it difficult for them to provide healthy food for their families.
Since the start of the program, managers with the community health center say they’re seeing a “ripple effect” in the prevention of COVID-19.
“Since our inception we brought the rates down from 18% to 4% in the farm working community and that’s because we bring not only education but we also provide prevention kits that include face coverings,” said Community Health Centers Behavioral Health Department Noemi Velasquez.
During the distribution, at least 200 families stood in line waiting to pick up food supplies and other items.