This resource directory is focused on resources that support children in grades pre-K through college. For other resources, please call 211 or use the community information database at the Santa Cruz Public Libraries.
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Food and Nutrition
211 in Santa Cruz County can help you find food, housing, health care, senior services, child care, legal aid and much more. Call today. Free. Confidential. Multilingual. Available 24/7.
Phone Only [ A, CO, FN, FY, HW, H, LS, M, PS, Q, SS, SPED, SE ]
An ongoing, weekly, new mom and infant sharing and support group offered at no charge. Facilitated by an OB nurse and lactation consultant. 763-6015
75 Nielson Street Watsonville, CA 95076 [ CO, FN, HW, PS ]
Assists low-income residents with the cost of purchasing food. Bilingual Services. Apply in person, online or by phone at 1-888-421-8080.
1020 Emeline Ave., Santa Cruz, CA 95060; 18 West Beach Street, Watsonville, CA 95076 [ FN ]
Provides assistance to low income families with children (can include unborn children), including cash aid; employment and training services; and supportive services such as child care, transportation, work expenses and counseling. Bilingual services. 1-888-421-8080
1020 Emeline Ave., Santa Cruz, CA 95060; 18 West Beach Street, Watsonville, CA 95076 [ CO, DC, FN, FY, HW, H, SE ]
CACFP is a federally funded nutrition assistance program designed to provide healthful meals to children and adults receiving day care. (831) 688-8840.
236 Santa Cruz Ave. Aptos, CA 95003 [ DC, FN, HW ]
Call the day that food is needed. We make referrals to local pantries and USDA distribution sites. Free summertime lunch program for children. Provides referrals for other services (rent, utilities, medical, free meals, Shelters, etc. Bilingual services available. 1-800-984-3663
See Website [ FN, H ]
Transition Age Youth Programs serve current and former foster and probation placement youth ages 15-24. We provide an array of programs and services including counseling, skills building, a resource center, and subsidized supportive housing. Our mission is to support and empower youth in making a healthy transition into successful adulthood.
380 Encinal St #200, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 [ A, CO, FN, FY, HW, H, M, REC, SS, SE ]
FOOD, WHAT?! is a youth empowerment and food justice program using food, through sustainable agriculture and health, as the vehicle for growing strong, healthy, and inspired teens. We partner with low-income and at-risk youth to grow, cook, eat, and distribute healthy, sustainably raised food and address food justice issues in our community.
See Website [ A, FN, HW, M, SE ]
We assist with mostly one-time critical needs for those from ages birth through twenty. Typically, our applicants need medical, dental, vision or educational assistance. All applications are brought to the Board of Directors for consideration. Our Board consists of those in professions of education, children's attorney, neo-natal pediatrics, social work and nutrition for women, children and infants. We are an all-volunteer organization making a difference in our community one child at a time.
P.O. Box 891, Capitola, CA 95010 [ A, CO, FN, FY, HW, H, Q, REC ]
Head Start supports school readiness and promotes healthy families through delivery of education, health and social services. Early Head Start (EHS) enrolls low-income families with infants and toddlers. The pre-natal months and the first three years of life are periods of incredible growth in all areas of a baby's development. (831) 688-3802
225 Westridge Drive Watsonville, CA 95076 [ A, CO, FN, HW ]
Services focus on supporting family caregivers through resources and education. Includes respite care, family consultation, legal consultation, counseling, support groups, and workshops. Services are free or on a low cost sliding scale. Bilingual services available. M-F 9am-5pm. (831) 459-6639
1537 Pacific Ave Santa Cruz, CA 95060 [ CO, FN, HW, LS ]
The Infant Program: 3 months - 18 months. The Toddler Program: 18 months -3 years. The Preschool Program: 3 years -5 years. This program includes three healthy, vegetarian meals daily in each of its programs.
8500 Hwy 9 Ben Lomond, CA 95005, (831) 336-2857 [ DC, FN, HW, PS ]
Application Assistance: Help with enrollment and reporting for government services (i.e. Cal-Fresh, unemployment), job applications, housing applications, resume building and more. Community Advocacy: We seek to meet the needs of families through bi-lingual, bi-cultural support on both a long and short-term basis. Our drop-in advocacy support aims to help our community access resources and set goals to address issues such as employment rights, landlord/tenant issues, consumer issues and health care access. We also offer oral translation (by telephone) for non-English speakers, employers and landlords. Healthcare Access: Our advocates are here to enroll your family in programs such as Medi-Cal and the Covered California Health Exchange, and will help you select a primary care provider. Summer Lunch: Offers free meals to youth during the summer throughout Santa Cruz County. Also, offers nutrition education, food sampling and physical education for children and families at the Summer Lunch sites. Triple P/Parenting Classes: Provides families with proven strategies for strengthening relationships with their children, promoting children’s development, and preventing or managing common parenting challenges – tantrums, sibling rivalry, homework, bullying, bedtime routines, communicating with teens, and more. Food Distribution: Food distribution the first Friday of the month at 10 AM.
521 Main St, Suite Y Watsonville, CA 95076 [ CO, FN, PS ]
Emergency shelter for families and single parents with kids. Floor space only, day-by-day basis. 30-day limits. Shelter residents are provided breakfast, lunch, & dinner. Priority for people attending AA or NA or enrolled in Drug/alcohol rehab program. Bilingual services available. (831) 458-1668
707 Fair Ave. Santa Cruz, CA 95060 [ FN, H ]
Advocacy and referral services. Distributes food and clothing on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month. Bilingual and bicultural services available. (831) 423-5747
711 E Cliff Dr Santa Cruz, CA 95060 [ CO, FN, LS, M ]
Serves soup and salad lunches at noon. Showers available M-F 11am-12:45pm. Clothing available M, W, and F. When donations permit, milk is provided; pregnant women and children are allotted more milk.
205 Mora St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 [ FN, H ]
The Lotus Collaborative is a holistic health and recovery center for eating disorders. We specializing in eating, weight, exercise, and nutrition concerns including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, orthorexia, and compulsive exercising. We provide partial hospitalization services, intensive outpatient services, free eating disorder support groups, family therapy, nutritional counseling and transitional living. Our Free Support Groups are open to anyone in the community struggling with an eating disorder, as well as those supporting a loved one who is struggling. We serve teens (14+) and adults — female, male and transgender from Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Jose and San Francisco and the greater Bay Area. More information about our free supports groups can be found on our website.
701 Mission Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060; 1610 Union Street, San Francisco, CA 94123. [ CO, FN, HW, M, PS ]
SCOTTS VALLEY AND SAN LORENZO VALLEY RESIDENTS. Emergency food pantry, vouchers for gas, funds for emergency rent, mortgages, and utilities as available. Very limited medical assistance. Bilingual can be arranged.
9400 HWY 9, Ben Lomond, CA 95005 [ FN, H, LS, REC ]
Supplemental food and nutrition program for low- income pregnant and breast feeding mothers and children under 5 years old. Santa Cruz http://www.thefoodbank.org/need-food/wic/
800 Ohlone Parkway, Watsonville [ FN, PS ]
Youth in Wilderness (YiW) provides a unique wilderness immersion experience for local young people of central California. On overnight backpacking trips in the Big Sur backcountry (Ventana and Silver Peak Wildernesses - native lands of the Rumsen, Esselen, and Salinan people), local young adults are welcomed to nature in a safe, fun and inclusive way. Those who participate on YiW backpacking trips gain leadership experience, undergo self-discovery, and are introduced to environmental conservation ethics. They will also be introduced to the intersection between environmental and social justice. All trips are free for participants - all essential backpacking gear, leadership, and food is provided. We collaborate with Community Partners who help us recruit participants and arrange for their own transportation. All overnight backpacking trips are supported by preparatory workshops, either at partner sites or on day-hikes at regional parks with the backpacking group.
PO Box 506, Santa Cruz, CA 95061 [ A, FN, FY, G, M, Q, REC ]