Agency Spotlight–Youth N.O.W.

What is the best way for a hungry student to focus on studying and class activities?

It’s a trick question. Studying, learning, and even paying attention are all next to impossible when you’re hungry or lacking in nutrients.

That’s why Youth N.O.W., one of Second Harvest’s hundred partner agencies, makes healthy snacks available to all the students in their program.

Youth N.O.W.Youth N.O.W., in Watsonville, is an after-school student center that provides no-cost tutoring and academic support in a safe social environment for middle and high school youth. Academic services include individualized tutoring, homework help, independent study, school project resources, computer labs, and more. Enrichment classes, clubs, sports clinics, and evening social events make up their social programs.

And the healthy food provided by Second Harvest Food Bank rounds out the organization’s offerings.

“One of the first things our students do when they arrive at our center is to grab a snack,” Jenna Rodriguez, Director of Operations, said. “Sometimes students will even drop by during their lunch hour to grab a quick snack like a granola bar or an apple.”

Youth N.O.W. recognizes that all the academic support in the world can’t help a struggling student if she’s hungry or lacking in nutrition. And research shows that childhood hunger and malnutrition greatly increase the risk of developmental problems down the road.

So thanks to Youth N.O.W.’s partnership with Second Harvest, the children they serve can fuel up on healthy snacks before delving in to the work and study that will open up a lifetime of opportunities in the years ahead.