Community group ALAS helping Peninsula farmworkers impacted by storms
Author: Gianna Franco
CBS San Francisco
Published: January 19, 2023
HALF MOON BAY -- The flood of storms that hit the Bay Area these last few weeks have left their mark on our roads, rivers and fields. The agricultural community in areas like Half Moon Bay and Pescadero are having to adjust, leaving many farm workers out of work.
Joaquin Jimenez is the Farmworker Program Director for ALAS, an organization in Half Moon Bay that helps local workers in the agricultural community. His focus is to connect with the local farming community to offer support and aid when needed.
These last few weeks of rain have kept Jimenez very busy, checking on local workers and farms that have been hit hard by the storms, leaving some of our local farmworkers having to find housing due to flooding.
"We're helping families to relocate," Jimenez said. "The ones that are flooded out completely, they were relocated to hotels."
One farmworker we spoke with has been out of work for days and the impact can be devastating.
"If they don't work, they don't get paid," Jimenez said, adding it could take days before they can even get back to work.
Several homes along the coast also dealt with no electricity; in some cases, the power outage lasted for more than a week.
"They were without electricity for eight days, all the food in their refrigerator all went bad," said Jimenez.
Adding to that, was all the cleanup and repairs on the farms that need to be done to homes, barns, and buildings.
ALAS, which stands for Ayudando a Latinos Soñar (Helping Latinos to Dream), along with help from San Mateo County are making sure these local farm workers have the support they need by bringing the community together to give them supplies.
Earlier this month ALAS held an event in Pescadero that handed out food, water, blankets, and even a hot meal for them and their families. Helping those who harvest crops for our table, by giving them food for theirs.