Jaime Arredondo, FHDC Director of Fund Development, mentioned how the partnership began when Slow Food Portland members toured farmworker housing, including on-farm camps and FHDC communities in May of 2009, and since has grown into numerous presentations and volunteer days.
Accepting the award were current chair Cheryl Brock and immediate past chair Amanda Peden. Brock thanked FHDC for their inspiring work in assisting farmerworkers and their families. She noted that FHDC has helped Slow Food Portland address the “fair” in the Slow Food mission of supporting food that is “good, clean and fair.”
Attending the event were other past leaders of Slow Food Portland including Katherine Deumling, Peter De Garmo, Pat de Garmo, Patrick Leonard, and Cynthia Winter. “The evening was my proudest moment as a member of Slow Food,” said founding Slow Food Portland member Peter de Garmo.
Farmworker Housing Development Corporation is a community-based non-profit organization dedicated to serving mid-Willamette Valley farmworkers and their families. FHDC was established in 1990 when Oregon Legal Services, Salud Medical Center, PCUN (Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers United), Farmworker Ministries, and a number of individuals joined forces to establish a single agency for the development of affordable housing for low-income farmworkers.
Quick facts (source FHDC website):
- The average life expectancy for migrant farmworkers is 49 years, compared to 73 for the general U.S. population (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
- Oregon produces some 220 crops and livestock commodities -a greater variety than any state except Florida and California. The value of these crops and commodities totals more than four billion dollars each year.
- There are approximately four million migrant and seasonal farmworkers in the U.S. today, with Oregon agricultural industries and farms reliant upon up to 90,000 each year.
- There are at least 7 different languages spoken in FHDC’s housing communities.
- The median household income for FHDC residents is under$16,000.
- Recent research shows 14% of FHDC residents went hungry at some point last year (2008) and 40% were “food insecure.”
- Recent research shows 76% of FHDC residens don’t have health insurance and have limited access to health care providers.
To learn more about FHDC and see how you can help, visit their website www.fhdc.org.