Fifteen religious leaders in Gainesville signed a joint open letter to Publix Supermarkets today urging the corporation to help end what they’re calling worker abuse in Florida’s tomato fields. The letter encourages Publix to meet with the Coalition of Immokalee Worker’s Campaign for Free Food, which seeks to improve wages and conditions for tomato pickers. Tomato pickers working in Immokalee currently earn close to 50 cents for every 32 pound bucket of tomatoes they pick. Nelly Rodriguez, a former tomato farmer in Immokalee, says her job made being a mother that much more difficult.[audio:http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/Rodriguezedited.mp3]
The Lake City community is working to help a family of eight that lost their home in a fire last week. Donations so far include mattresses, shoes, toothbrushes and sports equipment for the kids, and a GoFundMe has been set up to raise money toward a down payment on a new house.