Maria Celeste Carbajal, SAF Levante Leadership Institute youth member
The big issue that I learned about this year in Levante was the Fair Food Program from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). The Fair Food Program was designed to help ensure that fast-food franchises work with the CIW to fight against sexual abuse and a higher pay for tomato farmworkers in Immokalee. All of the main franchises have agreed except Wendy’s.
Last year my mom and I got the opportunity to go to New York and protest in front of the CEO of Wendy’s and it was just so amazing. I learned about the boycott because of this and realized that farmworkers from all over the U.S. are struggling to fight for their rights. To this day Wendy’s has not yet agreed to the Fair Food Program and even stopped receiving some of their tomatoes from Florida and switched to ones from Mexico. Though we haven’t won yet, I still have hope and I help on social media to keep others informed as well.