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Funding Will Help Farm Workers Hurt By The Drought

  

New state and federal funding will provide relief for farm workers hurt by California's drought. The U.S. Department of Labor is providing $18 million, and the state is providing $7.5 million.

An estimated 18,000 people have lost their jobs because of the drought -- most of them in the Central Valley.

"What we call the ground zero of the drought," says Marco Lizarrga, Executive Director of La Cooperativa Campesina. "Mendotta and Firebaugh and those little farm towns that are the sources of the cantaloupes and the sources of other products have been heavily impacted."

La Cooperativa Campesina along with the Northern Rural Training and Employment Consortium (NORTEC) will distribute funds.

The $18 million from the federal government will provide temporary jobs for as many as 1,000 people. They'll work on drought restoration projects like removing dead foliage to prevent potential fires and mudslides.

The $7.5 million in state funds will help unemployed farm workers pay for direct services like rent and transportation.