Migrant Farmer Outreach in Florida
Florida is unique among many states in the US in that a large portion of our working force is poor and travels to find available work. In Florida, these migrant farmworkers are the poorest of the working poor. They brave the Florida heat to labor in extremely adverse conditions. Ninety percent are from Mexico and Central America. Some remain here year round, while others follow the crops from one state to another.
Workers always outnumber the available jobs. Many times you can drive down a main roadway and see men standing on the corner in the hopes they will be picked up and given work for a day or week. They do not beg - they do not hold signs. They simply wait and pray that they will make a wage that week. Able to find work an average of 30 hours per week for only 30 weeks per year, they struggle just to feed themselves and their families. They are plagued by nutrition-related health problems: low birth-weight babies, anemia in children and diabetes and high blood pressure in adults. Housing is so scarce that it often consumes half of a family's income. In order to survive, families crowd together in dilapidated trailers, creating conditions where diseases thrive.
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Frequent moves handicap migrant children in public school. They have little chance to develop self-confidence. Even those children whose families remain here year-round may miss school to work in the fields or to care for younger siblings so that both parents can work. Cultural and language differences make it hard for them to learn, and they often feel they don't belong. Frustration takes its toll, and over half drop out of school, limiting themselves to lives of field work and poverty.
Your team can make a difference ministering to this group so needy of basic necessities and God's word. Very often we will hold a block party or a VBS in their simple neighborhoods. We are always welcome and the kids are so sweet and open to our acts of kindness. Missions to Migrant farmers can be part of your week while at Epic Missions Inc.