July 29, 2014

Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina releases research brief on migrant and seasonal farmworkers

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina recently released a research brief on migrant and seasonal farmworkers in South Carolina, identifying the contributions and challenges the groups face as they support South Carolina's multi-billion dollar agribusiness section and economy.

The brief, “From Sun-Up to Sun-Down: Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers in South Carolina,” identifies five areas where change is needed to strengthen families—the broken labor system, dangerous working conditions, poverty-level wages, substandard housing and challenges children face accessing school. The brief concludes with concrete steps individuals can take to stand in solidarity and support the farmworker movement.   

Farmworkers plan, cultivate, harvest, process, pack for market and store fresh foods that feed families each day. “Migrant and seasonal farmworkers play an integral role as they work to support local farms across South Carolina, especially during the summer months,” said Tom Keith, foundation president.

Authored by foundation Senior Research Director Dr. Stephanie Cooper-Lewter, the brief is based on research, interviews and site visits, and a listening session held in collaboration with Student Action with Farmworkers.

As part of the foundation’s Immigrant Families Initiative launched in June 2014, Student Action with Farmworkers is a current recipient of a $34,000 grant to provide outreach to more than 750 farmworkers and their families in rural South Carolina this summer. They place bilingual interns to serve, some of whom are from farmworker families themselves, with local organizations to provide information on accessing health, education, legal and other family support services to migrant and seasonal farmworkers.

The new research brief also received extensive media coverage. Following are links to articles in just a few of the media outlets that wrote about the brief:

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.

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