Launched in 2011
National Recognition: 2012 Hunger’s Hope Award from Feeding America
A monthly afterschool “health fair” format for children and families, with nutritious food and much more.
Our Healthy School Pantry Program takes an innovative approach to community issues of food insecurity. Designed like a monthly health fair with nutritious food, food demonstrations, food stamp outreach, health screenings, nutrition and physical education, and gardening instruction (from our Grow Your Own Way program).
Participating children and their families leave with a bag of fresh produce and food staples, a recipe of what they can cook with their food, and other resources and tools to help their family get ahead.
Children and families
Located at 4 locations countywide, the Healthy School Pantry Program benefits the community by:
- Elevating the focus of food distribution from hunger to health, from client dependence to community empowerment.
- Uniting a number of healthy lifestyle elements into a health fair format offering food literacy, access to healthy food, physical exercise, support for growing your own food, energy independence with bicycle blenders and games, community health screenings and opportunities for skill building and community involvement.
- Putting the client group in the driving seat in multiple ways: as people trained to run the program and replacing outside volunteers with peers and as Nutrition Advisory Committee members intimately involved in program assessment and focusing upon wider nutrition and community issues.
- Increasing access to food in underserved areas by partnering with low-income schools and community centers.
- Reducing food insecurity during after school hours.
Healthy School Pantry sites also incorporate physical activities and our Grow Your Own Way Program.
Program Sites (4)
Isla Vista Elementary, Harding Elementary, Lompoc Adult Education Center and Veteran’s Memorial Hall
Isla Vista Youth Projects, Trinity Episcopal Church, Lompoc Adult Education Center
Recipes from Healthy School Pantry
Spinach and Pear Smoothie Serves 2 Ingredients 1 heaping cup of spinach leaves ½ cup of canned pears 1 banana 1 ½ cups of cold soy milk Directions Place ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.