Local organization makes hand sanitizers for farmworkers

Posted at 8:11 PM, Dec 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 22:11:27-05

TWIN FALLS — In the midst of the pandemic, the Idaho Immigrant Resource Alliance, IIRA, started a relief fund to help undocumented farmworkers get through the pandemic. Now they partnered with Koenig Distillery to create hand sanitizers to distribute to farmworkers.

"I think a lot of times we don't think about the direct or indirect link between what we eat at our table and who does the hard work," Esther Cejas, a volunteer at the Idaho Immigrant Resource Alliance, said.

With the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU, and Idaho, IIRA translated the labels on the hand sanitizers to provide information to farmworkers in Spanish.

"We wanted to make sure that we didn't just provide hand sanitizer but that the hand sanitizer had information about who had come together to assemble and provide the information," Cejas said.

Along with information about who assembled the hand sanitizers, the team also provided resources for farmworkers throughout the state.

"It's such a great project. We've had groups like the Community Council of Idaho, Poder of Idaho, and the Latinx Farm Workers of Southern Idaho who have helped distribute these hand sanitizers to farmworkers," Irene Ruiz, with IIRA, said.

Coming from farm working backgrounds, Cejas and Ruiz say this project allows them to give back to their community.

"The pandemic has been an adjustment for everybody. But I feel like that the least that I can do is take my time in the evenings and figure out how I can contribute and give back to my community, the community that has given so much to many of us," Cejas said.

Their goal is to continue to distribute hand sanitizers and provide resources for farmworkers throughout Idaho.

"We know that the effects of the pandemic are not going to be over once we get a vaccine or once we feel like this is over. We're going to feel the long-lasting effects, and it's going to affect our community, specifically our undocumented Latinx farm working communities, for a while. So our goal in IIRA is to make sure we are here for the long haul to provide that support," Ruiz said.

For more information on how to support the Idaho Immigrant Resource Alliance, you can visit their Facebook page.