❮ Projects page The Pennsylvania Farmworker Project

Spatial Analysis Project:

The estimated 50,000 farmworkers living throughout Pennsylvania’s rural regions are the bedrock of our state’s $7.8 billion agricultural industry, yet they are uniquely targeted by exploitative structures due to socioeconomic, linguistic, and geographic isolation. We are seeking to create a visualization of the geographic spread and intensity of immigrant farmworkers’ isolation from vital resources like affordable food, healthcare, domestic violence shelters, legal services, language access, and public transportation to access those resources. We envision products similar to maps that show food deserts, only this project would take into account multiple types of resources as signifiers of isolation and would span several counties. This data visualization project would expose the scale and scope of isolation experienced by those who feed us everyday.

Data available:

We would use a compilation of data sets to quantify farmworker isolation and propose actionable solutions:

  • Location of Workers
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Census of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Labor’s database of H-2A visa applications (this is a temporary agricultural work visa), and data from the statewide Seasonal Farm Labor Camp registry of worker housing locations, which we have honed for specificity in an internal database over time
  • Location of Service Providers
  • United Way-funded organizations, UNIDOS US affiliates, our own list of community partner organizations, resources for victims of crimes from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, and NPI database lists of federally qualified health centers
  • Location of Food Sources
  • Databases of SNAP participating food-sellers from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
  • Scope of and Holes in Rural Public Transit Systems
  • National Transit Database from the Federal Transit Administration data on availability and ridership

Maps and Reports that will be created:

We are hoping for several final products targeting different audiences. Each will demonstrate farmworker isolation by comparing where farmworkers live with their relative distance from and access to a variety of social services. We envision three main final products: individual county maps with average access to a particular resource type, individual county maps demonstrating access to all of the resource types, and a state-wide map of average access to all resource types. This analysis would help us learn what potential local solutions need to be proposed based on the data for each region.

How the maps and reports will be used:

These maps will be a resource for all those working toward economic and immigrant justice in PA with the immediate impact of better connecting service providers and workers, and the long-term impact of connecting advocates and policy-makers to increase equitable creation and distribution of resources to working immigrant communities. This visual analysis would allow PFP and our partners to understand the sociopolitical dynamics of rural life in farmworker communities with more accuracy. Moreover, it would help us all conduct outreach more effectively by clearly identifying both level of severity and type of need by region and by helping farmworkers to utilize the services that do indeed exist. Where they are found to be lacking, this map would make for stronger advocacy for service expansion.

Shortlist year 2020
Category Community & Economic Development
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