MADERA (KCBS) – The effect of the drought on California’s agriculture industry has eliminated jobs for many farm workers, both migrants and people who call the Central Valley home year round.
A line of people outside an elementary school in Madera has been getting longer as the dry summer sets in. Reynalda Martinez and dozens of others are waiting for free groceries from the Madera County Food Bank.
Relatives from Mexico who would normally work the fields this time of year have not been working because farmers decided to plant fewer tomatoes.
“They didn’t plant as many tomatoes because there isn’t the water,” Martinez explained through an interpreter.
So the farm workers scour a nearby bulletin board for any sort of job they might qualify for. And jobs away from the fields are in short supply too.
At a packing house in Orange Cove east of Fresno, Alfredo Lopez is concerned that fewer oranges this year will mean fewer hours at the plant.
“I am kind of worried, because I’ve got a lot of bills to pay,” he said.