November 4, 2020

Farm Workers and the COVID-19 Crisis: A Conversation with Lauren Ornelas

Farm workers, meatpacking/slaughterhouse workers, and food processing workers have been some of the hardest hit populations during the COVID-19 pandemic: over 64,000 of these workers have tested positive for COVID-19, and at least 267 have died. Despite the inherently dangerous working conditions and the lack of adequate safety measures, in April President Trump issued an executive order designating meat and poultry processing plants as “critical infrastructure”, forcing these workers back to work.

Join us for a conversation with Lauren Ornelas, the founder and president of Food Empowerment Project (F.E.P.), a vegan food justice nonprofit that works to advance the rights of farmworkers by supporting corporate, legislative and regulatory changes. We’ll hear from Lauren about the biggest issues affecting farm workers right now, from COVID-19 to the California wildfires, and the work F.E.P. does to fight on behalf of these often overlooked groups. We’ll also discuss the myriad of injustices that farmworkers face on a daily basis—both here in the U.S. and in countries that provide many of the food products we purchase. what actions we need to take right now to protect our farmworkers, and how we can work towards building a more just food system for the future.