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Traveling medical unit provides care to the migrant farmworkers bringing food to tables

Posted at 1:04 PM, Jul 31, 2020

Before your food makes it to your table, or even to the grocery store, it starts here in farms across America. It's planted, grown, and picked by farmworkers.

"We would typically work from 5 [a.m.] to anywhere like 10, 10:30 at night, Monday through Sunday," said former farm worker Monse Gonzalez.

Gonzalez grew up near the farm where she worked in northern Colorado. But, many of her former co-workers are migrant workers from Mexico on H-2A visas for the growing season, usually April through October.

"I don’t think they really realize how important they are to everybody else," said Gonzalez.

Which is why it’s vital they stay healthy.

Deb Salazar runs a mobile health unit through Salud Health Systems. Three days a week, the unit travels to different farms in the north Denver area.

"Without us, a lot of these folks wouldn’t have the opportunities to see anybody who’s medical. And also, because we go to them, they don’t have to miss work," said Salazar.

The mobile unit provides a place for the migrant workers to get screened for diabetes, high or low blood pressure, get lab work done, and even see a medical provider for free through a federal grant.

"If one of their workers gets sick, it’s going to spread super quick, because they work in such close contact. And if they’re out, we’re not going to have any food," said Gonzalez.

"I don’t think most people realize that agriculture is the backbone of this country," said Salazar. "If we didn’t have a program to take care of the workers, then agriculture would fall, and the country would fall as well."

The workers labor from sun up to sundown, making sure our food gets from the ground to the grocery store.

"I feel like to them, it’s the job that puts food on their family’s table," said Gonzalez.

And, the tables of families all across America.