Santa Cruz County, CA — Community Bridges is pleased to announce it will lead the launch of an “Edible Gardens Project” after receiving a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture for the program. Families living in San Benito, Monterey, and Santa Cruz counties will have an opportunity to participate over the life of the program.
The two most frequently cited reasons that families have a hard time putting healthy meals on the table are access to fresh produce and affordability.
For many of Santa Cruz County’s lowest-income residents, there’s a tragic irony to living in America’s “salad bowl” while still struggling to provide nutritious meals for their own children.
“Our region has a rich agricultural tradition. Using funds provided by this grant, we can give young people the education, skills, and tools they need to grow their own fruits and vegetables,” said Raymon Cancino, Chief Executive Officer, Community Bridges. “But most importantly the educational program will connect our community’s young people with the farming traditions passed down through Pajaro Valley’s history.”
The grant provides nearly $100,000 for the North Monterey County School District to increase the procurement of locally sourced foods and more than $48,000 towards the Edible Garden Project, which will be led in partnership between Community Bridges’ Child and Adult Care Food Program, 100 Day Care Home Providers, and Lab Life, a garden-based educational organization.
“I am pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has made vital investments to increase access to healthy, nutritious food for students and communities on the Central Coast,” said Congressman Panetta. “The Farm to School Grants for the North Monterey County Unified School District and Community Bridges will help strengthen the ties between our local agriculture industry and youth in our communities. These grants represent a win-win scenario, as they will expose our children to agriculture and nutrition education through hands-on learning while providing a reliable revenue for local farmers.”
ABOUT COMMUNITY BRIDGES
Community Bridges envisions a thriving community where every person has the opportunity to unleash their full potential. Together, our family of programs delivers essential services, provides equitable access to resources, and advocates for health and dignity across every stage of life. To learn more, please visit www.communitybridges.org.
The Community Bridges family of programs includes the Child & Adult Care Food Program, Child Development Division, Women, Infants and Children (WIC), La Manzana Community Resources, Live Oak Community Resources, Mountain Community Resources, Nueva Vista Community Resources, Elderday Adult Day Health Care, Lift Line and Meals on Wheels for Santa Cruz County.