In the past weeks and months, many have been rocked by natural disasters — hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria devastating southern states and the Caribbean, a strong earthquake shaking Mexico City and destructive fires ripping through western states, Portugal and Spain.
However, in the midst of widespread destruction and struggle, people have been stepping up for each other in inspiring ways. Numerous online donation platforms have been set up, businesses and organizations are collecting food, clothing and other material donations, and helping hands are coming from many directions.
Still, rebuilding and healing will be a long and challenging process. And more help is needed. Farmers and farmworkers are facing a particularly dire situation, with many losing their homes as well as their land, crops, animals and source of incomes. PAN supports the following organizations and funds that are directly helping agricultural communities in this difficult time. We hope you’ll consider doing the same.
Hurricanes Irma and Maria destroyed nearly 80% of Puerto Rico’s crop value, impacting food distribution and the supply chain. Coffee farmers were hit particularly hard, and are currently collecting from what’s left of their crops on the ground to try and sell it. Many ranchers can’t find their livestock, and with roads damaged, milk is being dumped by the bucketful as trucks can’t get through to pick it up.
Donations to Why Hunger will help Puerto Rico farmers directly. One hundred percent of funds given go to support the Boricuá Organization for Ecologic Agriculture, a farmer-led organization dedicated to rebuilding the island’s farms and supporting food sovereignty.
Many Southwest Florida farms were in the path of Hurricane Irma. After the storm passed, 50-60% of citrus fruit was on the ground and trees were surrounded by standing water, putting their roots — and entire orchards — in jeopardy. Farmworker housing also suffered extensive damage, displacing many workers and families.
Donations to this fund — set up by and for Immokalee and other farmworker communities in Southwest Florida — will help meet the immediate material needs of newly-homeless families and support rebuilding devastated neighborhoods. You can also support the Farmworker Association of Florida directly to assist in their hurricane relief efforts.
Much of the land destroyed by wildfires in California so far is agricultural. Farmers and ranchers have already lost vineyards, acres of fields at the height of the early fall harvest, and farm structures. Many are still facing challenges of moving farm animals, and farmworkers have lost homes and sources of income.
The North Bay Fire Recovery Fund has been set up by a diverse coalition of community-based organizations, several farm-focused, and donations will provide resources to fire victims and support initiatives that build more just, healthy and resilient communities in the face of catastrophe.
Additionally, the UndocuFund for Sonoma County supports undocumented farmworkers and families displaced by the fires, ensuring they also have the necessary support and resources to recover and rebuild.
Thank you for supporting people impacted by recent disasters in whatever way you can.