Just like medical workers and supermarket cashiers, farm workers have stayed on the job, but many without any protective equipment – but this week, a group in Half Moon Bay has decided to do something about that.
Lillian Arguetta is part of a group of seamstresses behind the effort to make and pass out thousands of face masks for people who otherwise couldn’t get them. Arguetta’s son Elkin appreciates her effort to help.
“I feel proud about her because she’s saving lives,” he said.
Although farm workers work outside, they still work in groups – so masks are still necessary.
The Arguettas are one of ten families pitching in on the mask-making efforts. The masks they’ve made so far were handed out to field laborers, their families and other essential workers in the community.
“So far right now, I think we’ve distributed about 1,000 masks,” said Joaquin Jimenez, a farmer relations coordinator. “And that’s within less than a week.”
Jimenez keeps pouches of the masks handy to pass out to day laborers he knows may need one.
Organizer Belinda Arriaga said farm owners are also happy about their efforts.
“I think employers and everyone are trying to get the best that they can to their staff,” Arriaga said. “But there’s just nothing, they’re hard to find.”
Their first batch of masks was just a start. They plan to make more, but they’ve run into a problem.
“We ran out of elastic,” said Jimenez. “You know, cloth we have, but elastic is needed.”
Until the seamstresses can get more elastic, they’re using hair ties and anything else they can find. The plan is to make 2,000 to 3,000 more masks over the next few weeks.
To donate material, visit the ALAS website.