The FUERZA Farmworkers’ Fund was established in April 2020 by a Dartmouth professor and three undergraduate students with the initial goal of providing face masks for migrant dairy farmworkers working and living in the Upper Valley. Quickly, however, we noticed a number of other needs affecting these farmworkers that were constantly left unaddressed by a political and economic system dependent on their labor. Motivated to directly support and address these needs, we transformed our organization into a mutual aid fund that ensures farmworkers can have access to health services, educational resources, work gear, traditional foodstuffs, transportation, and other essential goods.
Presently, our team is made up of several Dartmouth community members who collaborate with a number of partner organizations (including HYH) to provide these goods and services to a number of migrant farmworkers all across NH and VT. Additionally, we host or co-host panels with many of our farmworker friends in order to increase community awareness on the realities of dairy farming and center the farmworkers responsible for many cherished local products. We believe that consciousness fosters action, and our hope is to further increase our ever-growing network of individuals and organizations determined to support the farmworkers.
When our organization is not publicly hosting a panel or fundraising, we work tirelessly to get our funds and goods out directly to the farmworkers and facilitate access to the healthcare services they need by providing transportation and interpreter services, among other things. While our organization is small and we recognize that we cannot solve every single issue faced by the migrant farmworker community, we are driven by the impact we’ve been able to make thus far and the awareness we’ve been able to raise. The farmworkers’ perseverance and friendliness continue to motivate us as we look to foster a safe, inviting, and welcoming community that recognizes and honors their invaluable labor and their social and economic contributions to our communities.