CA farmworkers struggle to recover from January's devastating storms

Lauren Martinez Image
Saturday, April 1, 2023
CA farmworker struggle to recover from January's storms
California farmworkers are facing a slow recovery process from the damage caused by the devastating storms.

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Farmworkers are facing a slow recovery process from the damage caused by January's storms.

Maria Nuñez owns a family-run farm in Gilroy called Picoso Farms. Two out of her 8 acres were completed flooded including her home.

"Pues un poquito triste, preocupada por la situación," Nuñez said she feels a little sad, worried about the situation but she knows she's not alone.

Her main goal is find a long-term home for her family of six. They were staying at a hotel and most recently moved into a rental supported by Santa Clara County.

RELATED: Monterey County flooding forces evacuations as farmers face serious impacts

A levee break in the small Monterey County community of Pajaro has forced the evacuation of nearly 2,000 residents, virtually the entire town.

She's hoping people can donate to her Gofundme to help pay for the loss of her RV, furniture, clothing, farming equipment and more.

"Gracias a Dios estoy cosechando," Nuñez said, thanking God she's still harvesting the six acres that were not damaged by water. Nuñez and her family sell fruits and vegetables at the Napa, Morgan Hill and Martinez Farmers Markets.

Darlene Tenes, founder of the nonprofit organization Farmworker Caravan, said the grassroots efforts and the nonprofit organizations are providing aid for farmworkers.

"I understand why the government takes so long because it is public money, but that's a lot, a lot of red tap, that takes a lot, a lot of time and they are hungry today," Tenes said.

MORE: CA needs more attention from federal government amid severe storm damage, Lt. Gov. says

Last week Farmworker Caravan distributed $35,000 worth of gift cards to residents in Pajaro, this weekend they will donate $20,000 more.

Next Wednesday, the nonprofit organization ALAS, will bring their mobile resource center to Pajaro to help with the mental health needs.

"ALAS was the lead agency for the Half Moon Bay shootings and they saw the great effect it had on the mental health of all these farmworkers - again these farmworkers have very daily stresses," Tenes said.

On Saturday, Farmworker Caravan will hold a food and emergency supplies drive for Pajaro flood victims.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. people can drop-off donations at Santa Teresa Church in San Jose. For a list of needs and more information, click here.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live