Thursday, March 30, 2023


Nebraska attorneys develop a workers rights program, the FDA approves over-the-counter sales of the overdose-reversing drug Naloxone, and mayors look for new ways to partner with the federal government.


The Senate repeals authorization of military force in Iraq, the former CEO of Starbucks testifies about the company's worker policies, and Kentucky overrides the governor's veto of gender-affirming care for children.


Small towns respond to a hidden housing and homelessness crisis, a new national weather prediction system will help close the gap between urban and rural forecasting, and more rural communities are eligible for a design project to boost economic development.

Farmworkers Rights a Ballot Issue as OR Primary Approaches


Friday, May 13, 2022   

Ballots are due for Oregon's primary election on Tuesday, and one key issue for voters is the rights of workers who grow the state's food. Farmworkers were considered essential during the pandemic, but still are fighting for better conditions.

Aldo Solano, strategic partnerships manager for Oregon Food Bank, said farmworkers already were more likely to experience hunger, and the pandemic made it worse.

"Farmworkers are some of the lowest-paid workers in Oregon, earning less than $20,000 a year on average," Solano observed. "We understand at Oregon Food Bank that, in order to be able to really eliminate hunger at its root causes, we need to be fighting and working to improve the different systems that perpetuate poverty and that create conditions for folks to be food insecure."

Solano pointed out Oregon's food system is anchored by nearly 175,000 migrant and seasonal farmworkers.

Although pay is low for Oregon farmworkers, they achieved a victory in this year's legislative session. Lawmakers passed a bill securing overtime pay for those who work more than 40 hours a week.

Solano noted it was a major focus for Oregon Food Bank during the session.

"When we asked the question of how do we eliminate hunger, the root causes of hunger, this was one of the priority pieces of legislation that some of our partners were working on that we were able to get behind and support in different ways," Solano recalled.

He added organizations like the farmworkers' rights group Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN) were instrumental in getting the bill passed.

Oregon Food Bank, a nonpartisan nonprofit, surveyed candidates for governor about food
insecurity. The responses are posted on its website and include a question about conditions for farmworkers.

Solano emphasized it will say a lot about the candidates.

"It's important to take a hard look at how elected officials or the folks who are running for office are speaking about, I think, a community that's so vital to the state and our communities who are at the beginning of our food chain," Solano contended.

The deadline to vote is Tuesday. Drop sites for ballots will be open until 8 p.m.

Disclosure: Oregon Food Bank contributes to our fund for reporting on Hunger/Food/Nutrition Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
The report outlines ways that higher education could be creative and flexible with how schools are using their platforms to reach students. (Adobe stock)

Social Issues

New findings confirm suspicions about the top reasons many students considered dropping out of college over the last six months. The Gallup and …

Social Issues

Two reports confirm a troubling trend in terms of Black students attending college. According to the University System of Georgia, enrollment among …

Health and Wellness

States such as Minnesota continue to grapple with recent spikes in fatal overdoses tied to opioids. Now, a federal agency has taken what aid groups …

The Warrior Way Back program at Wayne State University works with older students who may have families or jobs competing for their study time. (digitalskillet/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Everyone starts college with pretty much the same dream - to earn a degree and have a better life. But sometimes life gets in the way, and dreams get …

Social Issues

Food assistance is integral for families - but it's also important that the food available makes sense culturally. The American Heart Association …

The Castner Range contains cultural sites that document the history of Native tribes, while also providing habitat for wildlife such as the golden eagle, mountain lions and the western burrowing owl. (Dale/AdobeStock)


A celebration will be held in El Paso Friday after five decades of activism paid off, when President Joe Biden designated Texas' Castner Range a …

Social Issues

The Iowa Senate has advanced a bill to outlaw handling a cellphone while driving. The state already has a distracted driving law, but it allows …

Social Issues

With an average hourly wage of under $15 in 2021, many Nebraska agricultural workers would be hard-pressed to afford an attorney if they needed one …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021