Adelante Mujeres photo
A booth is a new enterprise for Lorena Hernandez at the Forest Grove Farmers Market.
Adelante Mujeres photo
A booth is a new enterprise for Lorena Hernandez at the Forest Grove Farmers Market.
The U.S. Catholic Church's national anti-poverty initiative has awarded two Oregon programs with grants totaling $75,000.

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development has given $35,000 to a Forest Grove farmers market run by Adelante Mujeres and $40,000 to a Portland workers' rights project called VOZ.

The campaign, supported by a collection taken annually in Catholic parishes nationwide, assists local anti-poverty groups in organizing programs by and for poor and marginalized people. Grant applicants are assessed on their ability to find solutions to local problems and to improve local economic conditions.

The Forest Grove Farmers Market was established in 2005 to help growers and artisans make a living. The program is the first in Oregon that combines marketing opportunities with practical training for new farmers.

First-time vendors at the market learn skills to manage their booth and participate in the market's planning and implementation. The market also brings new immigrants together with the established Forest Grove community.

More than 60 Spanish-speaking immigrant families are developing the knowledge and skills to operate sustainable farming businesses. Once they are established, families set out on their own.

The campaign grant to VOZ Workers' Rights Education Project will go toward leadership training and operating expenses.

VOZ is a worker-led organization of day laborers that develops leadership and empowers members to build relationships with employers. This happens through educational workshops and dispelling stereotypes about day laborers. VOZ recently celebrated its 10th anniversary.

VOZ helped established a living wage of $9 per hour for workers, has recovered more than $80,000 in unpaid wages and has trained workers in computer use and English.

The campaign grant will help fund monthly leadership workshops, a day laborer advocacy and educational campaign; a day labor leadership school and the Day Labor Committee and Action for Immigration Reform.

Meanwhile, the Archdiocese of Portland announced local CCHD grants in May with four programs awarded a total of $20,000.   

In western Oregon, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development is administered by the Archdiocese of Portland Office for Life, Justice and Peace.