NFWM began in 1920 as a ministry of charity and service, providing food, clothing and day care to the farm workers. When United Farm Workers founder Cesar Chavez began organizing in the 1960’s, he called on the religious community to change its emphasis from charity to justice. NFWM became the vehicle for people of faith to respond to that call. NFWM brings together national denominations, state councils of churches, religious orders and congregations, and concerned individuals to act with the farm workers to achieve fundamental change in their living and working conditions.
Grounded in faith, NFWM works side by side with farm workers throughout the country, organizing vigils, picketing, coordinating boycotts and educating constituents.
“Without the religious support it would have been impossible to win our campaigns…the presence of NFWM has proved critical in many areas.” Arturo Rodriguez, President, United Farm Workers.
Nearly two million farm workers work in our orchards and fields, plant nurseries, dairies and feedlots. 85% of our fruits and vegetables are hand harvested; without farm workers our multi-billion dollar agricultural industry would not survive. Yet they labor long hours for low wages and suffer from heat stress and pesticide exposure in the fields. Isolated and excluded from some of the laws protecting other workers, farm workers rely on concerned consumers to help achieve a measure of justice in the fields.