50 Years Later, 'Chavez' Film Shows Farmworker's Plight Remains


"Because I'm not with this company all the time. When I'm done with the work, I can't sit down and do nothing. I have to go on," Francois added.

"It is an issue that keeps happening and it won't stop until consumers become part of the issue," said Diego Luna, director of the film "Cesar Chavez."

"To be a consumer is a responsibility. And we keep living as if food appears magically in the store, you know? And, we don't ask ourselves 'What needed to happen for this to get in front of me?'" he added.

But advocates say there is something that you as a consumer can do: a campaign called the "Fair Food Program."

Created in 2001, the program asks grocery stores and fast food restaurants to pay just one penny more per pound of Florida tomatoes. That money goes directly into the farmworkers' pockets, making a substantial difference on farmworkers' wages in Florida.

As for Francois, like so many farmworkers, next month she will leave her two daughters and son in Florida while she follows the crops north.

"I'm going to New Jersey for blueberries. After New Jersey, I'm going to Virginia, to Winchester," said Francois, who said she does it to help her family.

For now, she also works along with the other migrants we met in a tiny garden harvesting food to feed their own families on land donated by the city of Fellsmere.

It's quite the irony. A tiny field of hope, that is helping nourish those who feed the rest of us.

For more information about the "Fair Food Program" and farmworkers, visit www.ciw-online.org

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