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Cultivating Food Justice - Manuel's Story

Jun 27, 2014

Manuel came to the United States in 1979 from Guanajuato, Mexico. He worked for many years harvesting mushrooms in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. In the early 1990's he began organizing with his fellow workers in order to gain better protections, a safer work environment, and the ability to have a say in their workplace. For many years they struggled, eventually forming the Kaolin Mushroom Workers Union, with help from the Farmworker Support Committee (CATA), a farmworkers' rights member-based organization (and sponsor of this garden).

Through the process, though, Manuel lost his job. In 1995 he began working as a Community Organizer with CATA. Working with CATA for almost 20 years, Manuel has become especially sensitive to issues of health and safety and food justice - specifically, the dangers and health risks of working around pesticides and the barriers to access to healthy food. He considers CATA's new Huerto Organico y Comunitario in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, an important accomplishment of the community. 

"The garden's very important for me, my family, and everyone here who don't have the space or knowledge to grow their own food. What's important are the benefits of having fresh, organic and healthy vegetables, something many of us wouldn't have access to otherwise."

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