For food,  call: 831-662-0991or email: [email protected] 

Live Oak Library Feria de Salud!

Suzanne Willis (Second Harvest Food Bank) and Nancy Garcia (Live Oak Branch Santa Cruz Public Library)

On June 1, the Live Oak branch of the Santa Cruz Public Library system in collaboration with Second Harvest Food Bank hosted its first Feria de Salud (health fair) including Zumba lessons, a fresh produce distribution and nutrition education.

The event, funded through a grant designed by Programming/Outreach Library Assistant and SJSU Library student Nancy Garcia, will offer 4 sessions – every other Saturday morning for two months.

Attendees participate in a Zumba class!

Nancy Garcia is the library staff leading Cuéntame un Cuento, story time in Spanish for community members at the Live Oak library. Each Monday at 5:30, story time draws in families wanting their children to experience interactive story and activity time to enhance their Spanish language skills. Many of the families that attend story time participated in the first Health Fair with their children.

Live Oak is an eclectic community of the unincorporated area of Santa Cruz County that evolved from chicken farming to a residential mix of single family homes, trailer parks and townhomes. While there is no specific downtown, the Live Oak Library branch is a community hub attracting visitors from all corners of the neighborhood. With beautiful views of the Corcoran Lagoon, the Live Oak Library branch was designed to address the “greatest single need for [the area] – children’s services”.

With that in mind, Garcia designed the grant for the health fair to include healthy eating/active living principles.  After a 45 minute Zumba lesson, participants were able to enjoy a healthy snack and take home a 35 pound produce bag.

Delia Bernal, Second Harvests Nutrition Education Manager, presents the recipe of the month.

Several of the participants were familiar with Second Harvest programs, attending nutrition education/distribution sites at Live Oak Elementary School or East Cliff Village. Others were new to Second Harvest’s offerings.  All enjoyed the active dance of the Zumba session, taught by Catalina Vargas, who can also be found at two other Passion For Produce distributions in the county each month.

The Health Fairs will continue through July 13th offering Zumba, nutrition tips and fresh produce. Thank you Nancy and the Santa Cruz Public Library for being such an amazing force for a healthy community.