Mission Bite #199: Engaging in Food Solidarity with the Immokalee Farmworkers

Immokalee, Florida, (with a poverty rate of 45%) is where much of America’s wintertime tomatoes and other produce are grown. Ironically, this farm town also contains food deserts in which quality, affordable food is difficult to access.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had numerous effects on the Immokalee farmworker community, including disrupted employment, increased food insecurity and a soaring COVID-19 infection rate due to crowded living and work conditions.

In response, Cultivate Abundance, a CBF Global Missions Engagement Partner, has upped efforts to provide fresh fruit and vegetables for Immokalee’s farmworkers. CBF field personnel, Rick Burnette, reports that since April, over four tons of produce has been grown, collected, and shared by Cultivate Abundance and its gardening partners.

Additionally, sets of container gardener have been shared with over 30 Immokalee families, helping to offset food insecurity and improve household gardening capacity.

A growing number of CBF congregations are involved in gardening for the benefit of their neighbors, especially those struggling with food insecurity. If you have questions or comments about church or community gardens, reach out to Rick Burnette at rburnette@cbf.net.

-Rick Burnette, Domestic Disaster Response and Farmworker Ministry, Immokalee, Fla.