Farmworker Appreciation Day celebrated in Mendota

MENDOTA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno County celebrated the 14th annual Farmworker Appreciation Day in Mendota Friday.

Vanessa Zepeda is a seasonal farm worker. When she isn't hard at work on the tomato or melon farms, she's hard at work at home.

"We have to make a living," she said. "We have kids, we have a house. We try to give our kids what we didn't get when we were younger."

Zepeda and her husband both work in agriculture while raising three children ranging in age from one to five.

"I get them ready for school, drop them off where I got to drop them off and go to work," she said.

Dozens like herself spent the day in Mendota where resources ranging from healthcare to education assistance were offered at the 14th annual Farmworker Appreciation Day.

"The main purpose is to educate the farmworkers," Oswaldo Coria with the Employment Development Department said. "Let them know about the services, but, not only the farmworkers, the employees too."

The EDD teamed up with Proteus for the day-long event aimed at thanking the rural communities in west Fresno County who work long and strenuous hours to put food on their tables and ours.

"We're here to take care of them, answer questions, provide free services, understand their needs and have a connection with the farm workers," Coria said.

Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula came to show his support and pride in the Fresno County farmworking community. At a time of uncertainty for undocumented immigrants, many were comforted hearing Fresno County offers resources and protection from fraud.

"There are so many people out there that are taking money from hardworking farmworkers and promising the possibly of getting their green card, jobs, buying houses with no money down," Candelaria Caro of Proteus said.
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