Food for the Undocumented

Carp Farmers, Members of Indivisible Help Families Afraid to Re-Register for Food Stamps

Leslie Westbrook, cofounder of Indivisible Carpinteria, discusses a new food drive program at the Farm Cart
Paul Wellman

When writer Leslie Westbrook was interviewing the owners of Carpinteria’s Farm Cart ​— ​Jason and Katherine Lesh ​— ​for a piece in Edible Santa Barbara magazine, a lightbulb went off. “I learned about their social justice concerns and big hearts,” she said. Already aware that many low-income families were afraid to re-register for food stamps since President Donald Trump took office, Westbrook enlisted the Leshes to help. They agreed to provide at-cost organic produce boxes filled with cilantro, onions, radishes, lettuce, papaya, and other vegetables. Westbrook found 12 families, identified by a friend who is a social worker, to receive them.

The group of supporters just started a week ago, but they’ve already raised $500. The effort is being made through the Carpinteria chapter of Indivisible, the national organization that sprang up to resist the Trump agenda.

Standing in front of the Farm Cart, a rustic wagon planted in front of the Carpinteria library that has been selling area organic produce for five years, Westbrook, who is the cofounder of Indivisible Carpinteria, explained there are many ways to resist Trump. This effort addresses a need in a tangible way, she said. “Parents are afraid to walk their kids to school.” Kids are playing “La Migra”— Spanish for immigration authorities ​— ​and pretending to lock each other up.

Several other efforts have been underway in the small community of Carp, Westbrook said. On Tuesday night, about 100 people gathered at the Plaza Playhouse Theater to watch the movie 1984. About 125 people showed up recently to the veterans’ hall to hear immigration attorneys speak about changing arrest and deportation laws.

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