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Funding Targets Farmworkers Hurt By The Drought

Jul 27, 2015

New state and federal funding will provide relief for farmworkers hurt by California's drought. The US Department of Labor is providing 18 million dollars, and the state is providing 7.5 million dollars. Lesley McClurg in Sacramento has more.

An estimated 18,000 people have lost their jobs because of the drought -- most of them in the Central Valley.

Marco Lizarrga: "What we call the ground zero of the drought. Mendotta and Firebaugh and those little farm towns that are the sources of the cantaloupes and the sources of other products have been heavily impacted."

Marco Lizarrga is the Executive Director of  La Cooperativa Campesina. The organization along with the Northern Rural Training and Employment Consortium (NORTEC) will distribute funds.

The 18 million from the federal government will provide temporary jobs for as many as 1,000 people. They'll work on drought restoration projects like removing dead foliage to prevent potential fires and mudslides.

The 7.5 million in state funds will help unemployed farmworkers pay for direct services like rent and transportation.