“Isaac sowed seed in that land, and in the same year reaped a hundredfold. The Lord blessed him.” (Genesis 26:12)
Mireya is a champion for making a difference to end hunger—and she is a powerful voice in her community. She works with the Farmworkers Association of Florida in an administrative position, setting up meetings to help families apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Every day, she encourages people to keep working and to learn something new, whether it is a concept or a word, to move them along in their journey to communicate in English.
Mireya knows firsthand what SNAP means for families who are vulnerable to wage theft and for whom seasonal work can leave them with little or no income for months at a time. Too often, it is hard to put food on the table. These are the seasons when SNAP is the only means for parents to feed their family. As an advocate, Mireya knows that SNAP helps families get through these difficult times.
Mireya sees God’s love in every person she encounters and reminds them to take pride in themselves and their children. For Mireya, ending hunger is personal. Getting to this point wasn’t easy for her.
At the age of 12, Mireya migrated to the United States from Mexico with her parents and five siblings, leaving behind a home and a sense of belonging. Her family had held a prominent role in the community. Like many other immigrants, Mireya’s father was seeking a better life, with better education opportunities for his children. But once in the United States, Mireya and her family quickly realized that not speaking English put them at a clear disadvantage in terms of accessing education and jobs. Mireya struggled, feeling that she was not understood.
Mireya’s father had had a good job in Mexico and had been able to provide a decent life for his family. He expected the same or better in the United States, but what he experienced was inferior housing, low wages, and a struggle to feed his family. They went from being home owners in Mexico to sharing a trailer with 10 other families, each family sharing one room. Mireya remembers hearing rats at night as she lay in bed.
Through it all, Mireya knew that education would be the key to unlocking the chains of poverty and hunger. Learning English was hard and moving several times to different states to help her parents harvest set a barrier to graduating from high school. But Mireya has now completed two years of college and is raising three beautiful children with her husband.
Nationally, Latinos are twice as likely to experience hunger, and Latino agricultural workers are even more at risk of being food insecure. Twenty-one percent of counties with a majority Latino population fall into the 10 percent of counties with the highest childhood food-insecurity rates. Latino children are nearly twice as likely to lack access to sufficient nutritious food as non-Latino white children (24 percent vs. 14 percent).
Bless the hands of the precious farmworkers who work the land so hard so that we can have nutritious food at the table.
Please hear the cry of justice by farmworkers—because you maintain the cause of the afflicted and execute justice for the most vulnerable.
Guide them out of the rivers of poverty and hunger and onto a land overflowing with milk and honey.
In Christ´s name we pray. Amen.