Our Mission Statement

Feeding the Mind, Spirit, and Body of the farm-working community and our neighbors in need, through opportunities for hunger relief, education, healthcare, and spiritual growth.

Hunger Relief

  • On Tuesdays, a weekly Food Pantry supporting 80,000 individuals annually
  • Cena Comunitaria–a community dinner offered the 2nd Tuesday of every month for Farm Workers and all members of our community.
  • Ongoing nutrition program that provides fresh produce on a monthly basis to the Tuesday Food Pantry along with tasting samples and recipes that use ingredients available in that week’s pantry (What’s in the Bag)
  • Basic cooking classes (volunteer leaders welcome)

Education

On-campus partners:

  • Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA) providing migrant Head Start, and public K-8th grade public charter school.
  • Hillsborough County School District offering GED and ESOL classes

Scholarships for:

  • GED/ESOL
  • College or trade school
  • Elementary Music Lessons

Back to School programs providing:

  • Backpacks (approximately 300 given out each year)
  • School Supplies (note paper, pencils, erasers, markers etc.)
  • New Shoes

Healthcare

  • Funds to assist women with pre and post-natal care
  • Semi-annual health screenings through the Florida College of Nursing Program
  • On-site bi-monthly mobile health clinic through Suncoast Community Health Center
  • On-site bi-month visiting nurses from La Esperanza Clinic
  • Mammogram screenings through Moffett Cancer Center

Spiritual Growth

  • Sunday Bible Study for all ages (10am)
  • Spanish Worship Services Sunday mornings (11am) and Tuesday evenings (7pm)
  • Scholarships for kids and teens to attend Cedarkirk Christian Camp
  • Summer Vacation Bible School

A Developing Country in Our Midst

Mission Trips FieldMigrant farmworkers are the poorest of the working poor. They brave the Florida heat to labor in extremely adverse conditions. Ninety percent are from Mexico and Central America. Some remain in one location year round (seasonal farmworkers), while others follow the crops (migrating farmworkers).

Workers generally outnumber the available jobs. Many are only able to find work an average of 30 hours per week for only 30 weeks per year, they struggle to feed themselves and their families. Most farmworkers are plagued by nutrition-related health problems: low birth-weight babies, anemia in children and diabetes and high blood pressure in adults. Housing is so scarce that it often consumes half of a family’s income. In order to survive, farmworkers crowd together in dilapidated trailers and rental units, creating adverse living conditions.

Frequent moves handicap migrant children in public school. They have little chance to develop self-confidence. Even those children whose families remain year-round may miss school to care for younger siblings so that both parents can work. Cultural and language differences make it hard for them to learn, and they often feel they don’t belong. Frustration takes its toll, many students drop out, limiting themselves to lives of field work and poverty.

History

Beth-El Farmworker Ministry began in 1976 when a small group of Cumberland Presbyterians rented a tiny house in Ruskin, Florida and began holding Spanish-language church services for migrant farmworkers. When the families came to worship, their many other needs were obvious: they were usually hungry, often cold in winter, some slept in cars or trucks, many could neither read nor write, and most lived in fear of deportation. In its effort to meet some of those needs, Beth-El grew.

Now legally a nonprofit corporation, Beth-El Farmworker Ministry, Inc. has a 27 acre site on U.S. Highway 301 about 20 miles south of Tampa. The Ministry serves the nearby rural population. It operates under a covenant among its governing bodies, the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and the Tampa Bay and Peace River Presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

18240 US HIGHWAY 301 S, WIMAUMA FL  33598-4307
Telephone (813) 633-1548 * e-mail info@beth-el.org