If the saying is true and we are what we eat, we owe the people responsible for growing our food a lot better. As it is now, farmworkers and their families are the unsung heroes of our food system, with little more than their little pay to show for all their efforts. As Natalia de Cuba Romero wrote earlier this month, in her story on the Long Island Latino Vintners Association, there are more than 250 full-time viticultural workers of Latin American background at the East End’s many wineries. And, of course, that figure does not take into account seasonal workers nor the countless other full-time farmhands responsible for growing our fruits and veggies.
Unfortunately, the population of East End farmworkers is as large as it is underserved, which is why HRHCare, a system of community health centers throughout the Hudson Valley and Long Island, is stepping in.
On July 16, HRHCare will host Honoring The Hands: A Celebration of Long Island’s Agricultural Workers from 7-10 p.m. at Martha Clara Vineyards. The event will include a cocktail reception, a wine identification contest and tasting and a live and silent auction. All proceeds will help HRHCare continue to provide medical care to Long Island’s agricultural workers and their families. These members of our food-community already heavily depend on HRHCare; the show up with with serious medical issues ranging from poor nutrition to asthma, musculoskeletal conditions to a lack of preventative care. We are taught to love our neighbors, but it’s important that we remember to love our farmers, too.
So want to show our farmers some love? For more information — or to buy a ticket to Honoring The Hands—you can visit HRHCare’s website here. Ticket are $175 to take part in the wine identification context. $125 tickets include the wine tasting. All manner of donations are also accepted.