MENLO PARK, Calif. - A benefit concert was held Tuesday for farmworkers affected by the deadly mass shooting in Half Moon Bay. Since January, farmworkers and their families have been trying to put their lives back together after seven people were shot and killed by another farmworker.
The fundraiser included showing a short film about the lives of farmworkers as well as musical entertainment. Organizers say the shooting was tragic, but it brought to light how vital farmworkers are to this community.
"The farmworkers, they are toiling the soil. They are nurturing all of our food every step of the way," said Janet Lloyd-Davis, Earth to Table Founder and organizer of the benefit concert.
Tuesday night in Menlo Park, people gathered at the Guild Theater to raise money that’ll be donated to farmworker advocacy groups like ALAS in Half Moon Bay. ALAS offers basic needs, education and mental health services to essential workers and farmworkers in coastal communities.
"We’ve gone through the fires with them, the flooding, COVID and unfortunately the recent tragedy that we’ve seen them navigate in Half Moon Bay that’s been so painful," said Belinda Hernandez Arriaga, ALAS Founder and Executive Director.
Since the shooting, poor living conditions, food insecurity and economic hardships for farmworkers have received more attention. Earth to Table, a non-profit that supports farm workers, sponsored Tuesday’s benefit concert.
"It can happen anywhere if it can happen in Half Moon Bay. I think there was an outpouring of support for the farm workers, and we’re just hoping to make sure that that continues and doesn’t fade," said Brent Turner, Earth to Table Co-founder.
"If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have our own food on our own tables, at the markets and at the grocery stores," said Lloyd-Davis.
Guest speakers at the event included Filmmaker/Songwriter Abel Sanchez, and Civil Rights Leader Dolores Huerta. Band leader Juan Escovedo, and brother of famed drummer Sheila E., also showed his support just after finishing up a new album with his family.
"I’m in the Bay Area. We’re all born and raised in Oakland. They moved to L.A. so I’m just trying to get people here to support and raise money for the farmworkers," Escovedo said.
Organizers say they hope to raise about $10,000.