On Saturday, January 19th, YAYA hosted a Chili Cook-Off fundraising event at the CWA Union Hall. What better way to support farmworker campaigns then a chili cookoff in the heart of Orlando’s College Park! With complete community support and efforts, YaYa’s fundraiser was a success. Nine different chili’s were prepared the event by other organizations and YAYA supporters, with something for everyone’s tastes. My personal favorite was the vegan chili provided by Food Not Bombs.
In addition to the food, local businesses provided gift cards to be given away as prizes during a raffle event (scroll down to see teh complete list of these awesome businesses!)
Sandwiched between the chili eating and the raffling, many members of YAYA performed an entertaining, yet education skit. This skit, although short and sweet, let our attendees know that the ragu sauce, ketchup, and tomatoes slices don’t come to our local groceries with ease; an extraordinary amount of work goes into a long process of bringing food from the fields to our tables. The farm workers who pick our food are treated unjustly, with little or no regards given to health and labor standards. This unjust exploitation of farm workers is something we all benefited from at the event, as nearly all of the chilies contained tomatoes.
YAYA isn’t a charity organization, but instead a solidarity group committed to forming lasting relationships with farm worker communities and organizations. YAYA believes that everyone should have an opportunity to both learn about solidarity organizing and become involved in the farm worker movement. During a call to action, YAYA invited all guests to a Coalition of Immokalee Workers rally outside of Publix on Central Avenue on February 2nd.
We thank all members of organizations and individuals who cooked chili and attended the event, your support keeps us in the fight! As someone who benefits from the results of a farm worker labors and enjoys eating food like chili, I myself saw how easy it is to forget where our many privileges come from. Most of the fruits and vegetables in the U.S. are hand picked by farm workers; and because farm worker communities are usually so isolated, they may be overlooked. I want to thank everyone who came out on this day, your support contributes to the farm worker movement!
Special thanks to the following businesses for their support and generosity!
Aguille Rocking Climbing Gym | Alchemy Hair Salon | Avalon Tech School | Drunken Monkey Coffee Bar Dechoes Resale | Etoile Boutique | Eola Wine Company | The Falcon Bar & Gallery
Infusion Tea of College Park | Lil’ Indies | Rhapsodic Vegan Bakery | Stardust Video & Coffee
Sweet! by Good Golly Miss Holly | Will’s Pub
Pictures courtesy of Shelby Radcliffe