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County of Santa Clara Awarded Get Fresh Funding for Nutrition Education

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. —  The Santa Clara County Social Services Agency has received a $375,000 grant from the California Department of Social Services to implement the Get Fresh Project.  Funding will support nutrition education for local low-income communities. 
According to the 2010 Hunger in America Report, 68.8 percent of Santa Clara County pantry users are women with an average monthly income at 90.3 percent of the federal poverty level.  The report indicates that 32 percent of the households have children age 0-5 and 9.9 percent have a family member 65 years and older.  Low-income families who use food pantries will directly benefit from the Get Fresh project and learn about healthy eating choices on a limited budget.
“There is an overabundance of cheap, high-fat, and high-calorie food available in our communities, but healthy eating choices can be made, even on a limited budget,” said President Ken Yeager, County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors.  “This grant allows the County to build on its recent push to promote healthy eating, and ensure that poor nutrition doesn’t lead to poor health for our residents.”
In 2012, the California Department of Social Services awarded funding to the Santa Clara County Social Services Agency to collaborate with Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties and County Public Health Department to provide nutrition education to CalFresh recipients.  Since then, the Second Harvest Food Bank and Public Health Department have reached out to 25,704 low-income individuals.
“The link between eating choices and health has been clearly established,” said County of Santa Clara Supervisor Joe Simitian, Chair of the Board’s Children, Seniors and Families Committee.  “Through nutrition education, we can help County residents support their families and avoid costly health problems.”
The new Get Fresh funding will allow the Social Services Agency to continue partnering with the Second Harvest Food Bank to provide nutrition education to CalFresh recipients and CalFresh eligible residents.  The County anticipates that from FYY 2013 through FYY 2015, the Get Fresh Project will reach out to approximately 26,200 low-income residents.  
“Nutrition education can have long-lasting, positive effects on an individual’s health,” said Bruce Wagstaff, Director of Santa Clara County Social Services Agency. “For our clients, their families well-being is a priority. We want to support their goals with practical and beneficial information.”  
The Get Fresh Project will include the train-the-trainer food safety classes; nutrition education, promotion of other food programs and resources; promotion of the use of the Electronic Benefits Transaction (EBT) cards to purchase healthy foods; and creation and distribution of healthy recipes and other healthy eating materials. 
Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Marina Hinestrosa, Office of Public Affairs (408) 299-5119; Stanley Lee, Social Services Agency (408) 755-7773; Rafaela Perez, Social Services Agency (408) 755-7734
Posted: August 8, 2013