1. Welcome to new supporters

We are delighted that the mission of the Food Empowerment Project continues to be of interest to many of those in the animal activist community. We know that our mission of veganism, outreach on farm worker justice and access to healthy foods in low-income communities ties in a variety of issues, and even though all of this may be new to many of you, we are thrilled that you support our efforts and want to get more involved.

As an all volunteer organization, our efforts are slow, but steady, and we know they will bear the fruit of change. Thanks to everyone for their continued support.

EXCITING news: At the AR2009 conference in Los Angeles, F.E.P. founder and director, lauren Ornelas, received the prestigious Henry Spira Grassroots Animal Rights Activist Award, which honors those who have been involved in animal rights grassroots activism for more than 10 years as a volunteer.

Photo from http://www.arconference.org/

2. Update on Food Empowerment Project Food Access Survey

Since March of 2009, over a dozen volunteers with F.E.P. have been spreading across Santa Clara County (where we are based) filling out surveys with information on fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy alternatives available from liquor stores, corner markets and grocery stores.

(To learn more go to: https://foodispower.org/alerts/fep-alert-12-17-08/)

We are 90% completed with our project.

Next step is data entry and we need help!
If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and can volunteer your time to enter data from these surveys, we would appreciate your assistance on this part of the project. The best part is, you can do it from home!

If you can help, please contact us at lauren@www.foodispower.org.

Once the data is entered and numbers crunched, we can begin our advocacy work.

3. Farm workers dying in the fields!

As part of our mission, the Food Empowerment Project seeks to advocate for those who pick the foods we eat and need to be healthy, and of course, this is the diet we promote – one of fruits and vegetables.

We have discussed in previous alerts (https://foodispower.org/alerts), the life that these individuals who pick our food have to contend with: low pay, long hours, impacts from agricultural chemicals, and deplorable working conditions.

A number of farm workers have died in the state of California due to heat exhaustion. Last year from July 9 – July 14 four workers died in California due to the extreme temperatures and the lack of access to shade and/or water.

This issue is getting some much needed media attention:
http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-me-heat3-2009aug03,3,2689316.story
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1914961,00.html?artId=1914961

We ask all of you to write letters of support when you see articles appear in your local paper. Ask that growers who are found in violation be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

At this time it seems it is in the hands of the staff of Cal – OSHA. When it seems that we need to add our voices to an action – we will definitely let you know.

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