# Protect Food

Make a difference. Make your voice heard.
Days before the WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, we saw a crisis in the making: only 25% of food workers would have access to paid sick leave. None of us knew the magnitude of what we would face, but the HEAL community sprang into action: Over this last year members have grown and redistributed food in their communities, established pandemic relief funds, provided direct support to community members, and deepened relationships with each other. HEAL’s staff pivoted a lot of our time to support members in the meatpacking sector, like Rural Community Workers Alliance, who were organizing walkouts, wildcat strikes, and other actions - and asking for help. They saw that workers on the frontlines were not receiving PPE, and that a few greedy corporate CEOs were ignoring CDC guidelines and penalizing workers for trying to take action to protect themselves.

With this community, our alliance:
Created an Action Center to help people call their Senators and Representatives to pass the HEROES Act, which would have created a process for the CDC guidelines to be enforced by OSHA in workplaces across the US.   
Organized allies around a petition that got over 200,000 signatures demanding immediate action to protect working people and engaged with hundreds of shareholders of the largest meatpacking corporations. 
Filed a Title VI complaint together with Public Justice and the Food Chain Workers Alliance, exposing the racism within the meatpacking corporations where 70% of the frontline workforce is Black, Latinx, and Asian, and 70% of the management is white.
Uplifted the fight in the press and social media!
These efforts are now coming to fruition! Since most of the HEROES Act was incorporated into the American Rescue Plan Act, we’ve won some debt relief for BIPOC producers, and members like the Farmworker Association of Florida are assisting with vaccine rollout. However, the work ahead is critical. We’re keeping up the fight - but we know we can only win if we dismantle the power that a handful of industrial food corporations have over our elected officials and government agencies like OSHA. In the following months HEAL will be bringing members together to address these monopolies and strengthen and enforce antitrust law. Keep checking back to our action center to find out how you can plug into this work with HEAL!

In the meantime, please donate to organizations mobilizing working people on the ground!

The Rural Community Workers Alliance (RCWA) is a worker-led organization dedicated to empowering, educating, and organizing refugee and immigrant workers from the food industry.
CATA is non-profit organization focused on organizing and empowering the immigrant community as they fight for justice for themselves, their families and their communities.
 The Food Chain Workers Alliance (FCWA) is a coalition of worker-based organizations whose members plant, harvest, process, pack, transport, prepare, serve, and sell food, organizing to improve wages and working conditions for all workers along the food chain
The Farmworker Association of Florida (FWAF) is a statewide, grassroots, community-based, non-profit, farmworker membership organization with over 10,000 Haitian, Hispanic, and African American members and five offices in the state of Florida with a 35 year history of working for social and environmental justice with farmworkers.
Warehouse Workers for Justice (WWJ) fights for good, stable, living wage jobs in Chicago's massive logistics and transportation industry. We educate workers on their rights, help workers enforce their rights, and fight for public and private policies that promote full-time work with respect and fair wages in our region's warehouses and distribution centers.
Brandworkers is an organization of food factory workers building a union with the Industrial Workers of the World. Through co-workers uniting, Brandworkers is winning dignified jobs and building power across the industry.
The Idaho Organization of Resource Councils (IORC) empowers people to improve the well-being of their communities, sustain family farms and ranches, transform local food systems, promote clean energy, and advocate for responsible stewardship of Idaho’s natural resources.