Document Type

Capstone Project (Campus-Only Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Health, Human Services and Public Policy


La Manzana Community Resources drop-in center offers a variety of services to the community including advocacy, parent education, and food distribution. The population served are adults, children, and families. During the summer, La Manzana offers a free lunch program at different sites in Watsonville. There was a need for an expansion of the program because 76% of the students in the Pajaro Valley School District qualify for free or reduced lunch. Many of these students' families suffer from food insecurity, food deserts, lack of parental figures at home, and/ or lack of healthy food education. As a result, a child’s health can be compromised by malnutrition, obesity, and/or illnesses such as heart disease, which can lead to higher medical costs in the future. The project was designed to expand how many sites offer the program within Santa Cruz County. These locations were researched to determine whether the expansion was targeting the population in need. The purpose of the project was to increase the number of children in Santa Cruz County that have access to a healthy meal during the summer. Two apartment complexes in Santa Cruz were set to participate, but due to the COVID-19 outbreak, they have chosen to no longer offer a site. However, an additional complex in Corralitos has agreed to participate in the lunch program this summer. It is recommended that La Manzana Community Resources continue to contact other apartment complexes and youth programs in Santa Cruz County to further expand the summer lunch program.

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