Food Distribution &
Second Harvest delivers food and nutrition education directly through our two innovative nutrition programs at 63 sites across Santa Cruz County.
Passion For Produce is a fun community access point for fresh fruits and vegetables presented in a farmer’s market style which also provides nutrition education and peer support for a healthy lifestyle.
Food For Children is a fast-paced food distribution that provides fresh fruits and vegetables and non-perishable foods, as well as basic nutrition tips and food tastings to support healthy families.
I got days when I don’t want to leave the house, but I look forward to seeing people here and get excited about the food—it connects you, you take that home with you. And those fruits and vegetables are that much sweeter because you got them here.-Program client
Passion For Produce taught me [the importance of] smaller portion sizes. No one ever did that in my family, it was always big plates of food!-Program client
I always thought as long as my kids were eating, it was okay. And we weren’t big fruit eaters. Here we learned about cutting up apples for snacks, eating celery with peanut butter. Now we know we can’t live on hamburgers.-Program client
At Passion For Produce (P4P), participants select the fruits and vegetables they need to ensure their households have enough fresh, healthy food. Plus, trained “Nutrition Ambassadors” from the community provide nutrition education where participants learn about eating well, receive recipes that often pair with the produce offered, share tips about low-cost healthy food options, exchange time and money-saving techniques, and have a chance to talk about and support each other’s healthy habits. The education and social support participants gain here improves individual and family health and reduces the risk factors for chronic disease.
Winner of the Congressional Victory Against Hunger Award, Food For Children provides fresh produce and essential food staples to children and families at dozens of sites throughout Santa Cruz County. Fresh and healthy foods can be rare—and unaffordable—in many low-income communities, but Food For Children brings the produce aisle to the neighborhood. Staff offer nutrition tips and menu ideas to help parents prepare the food in healthy ways, so back at home, the whole family eats well, and the kids are taking in not only the vitamins and nutrients they need to learn in school, but also the healthy habits they need for a successful future.
|Market-style assortment of produce to choose from: potatoes, carrots, onions, plus assortment of seasonal produce||Farmers market-style (choose your own) food distribution||Nutrition tips and food tastings|
|Same as above||20-minute peer-led nutrition class followed by farmers market-style (choose your own) food distribution||Peer support and community to help you stay healthy|
| 20+ pound bag of produce: Onions, potatoes, carrots, plus assortment of seasonal produce
10+ pound bag of non-perishable dry goods, like beans, rice, canned goods, peanut butter, etc.
|Fast-paced distribution of pre-bagged foods||Nutrition tips and food tastings|