Why Partner With Immokalee's Farmworkers?
Because those that harvest our food often do not have enough to eat
Despite Florida supplying 2/3rds of America’s wintertime tomatoes, Immokalee’s farm workers – the vast majority being migrants – struggle with poverty and food insecurity. According to 2015 census data, Immokalee had a poverty rate of 43.9% compared to the official US poverty rate of 13.5 percent. With regard to economic disparity, besides being the most unequal metro area in Florida, Collier County (in which Immokalee is located) also ranks third in the nation.
Food insecurity is another challenge that the residents of Immokalee face. According to USDA data, major portions of Immokalee and its environs are classified as food deserts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that food deserts are areas lacking access to affordable fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat milk, and other foods that make up a full and healthy diet.
The Economic Research Center has determined that the cost of food in Immokalee is higher than the US average. An informal July 2017 price comparison of select food items (i.e., eggs, oatmeal, chicken, cabbage, rice, pinto beans, sugar, sardines, spaghetti) sold in stores catering to Immokalee’s poorest were on average 25 percent higher than those sold in a major grocery chain located on the outskirts of Immokalee as well as grocery chains in Ft. Myers.
The economic and food access challenges of many Immokalee residents are rooted in their migrant worker status. As of 2015, 66.7% of the residents in Immokalee, FL were US citizens, which is lower than the national average of 93%. Within the local population, there are 3.8 times more Hispanic residents (18,615 people) than any other race or ethnicity, followed by Black (4,898) and White (1,072).
The most common race or ethnicity living below the poverty line in Immokalee, FL is Hispanic or Latino, followed by White and Black or African American.