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How to get healthy food for your family this summer

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Image of outdoor produce vendor handing piece of fruit to customer

These summer food resources may help you get healthy food for your family.

Feeding your family can be more expensive with the kids out of school. You may be able to get help with healthy food for your family from:

  • Your local food bank.
  • CalFresh.
  • Your child’s school district.
  • Local farmers markets.

Local food banks

Local food banks can provide fresh food and help you enroll in CalFresh.

Mariposa County

  • Merced County Food Bank: 209-726-3663
  • Manna House of Mariposa: 209-742-7985, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
  • Mariposa Heritage House Food Pantry: 209-966-7770. Call on a Monday to be considered for a food box.

Merced County

  • Merced County Food Bank: 209-726-3663
  • Merced Lao Family Community, Inc: 209-384-7384
  • Catholic Charities: 209-383-2494
  • The People’s Pantry: 209-769-3231
  • Bethel Community Church, Los Banos: 209-827-0797 
  • Tri College Center, USDA Food Distribution: 209-316-8136, 3rd Friday of the month 

Monterey County

  • Food Bank for Monterey County: 831-758-1523
  • Catholic Charities, Monterey Peninsula: 831-393-3110
  • Catholic Charities, Salinas Valley: 831-422-0602

San Benito County

  • Community Food Bank of San Benito: 831-637-0340

Santa Cruz County

  • Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County Community Food Hotline: 831-662-0991, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Catholic Charities, Santa Cruz: 831-431–6939
  • Catholic Charities, Watsonville: 831-722-2675
  • Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes: 831-722-4144 
  • St. Francis Catholic Soup Kitchen: 831-459-6712 

Image of a hand of produce vendor placing apple in customer's hand with an array of fruit shown below

CalFresh

CalFresh can help with your household food budget. You can apply for CalFresh benefits online or by calling your county’s CalFresh office. You can buy more food for your child between June and August 2024 with SUN Bucks. Visit the SUN Bucks website or contact your county’s CalFresh office for more information.

Mariposa County

209-966-2000

800-549-6741

Merced County

209-385-3000

Monterey County

877-410-8823

San Benito County

831-636-4180

Santa Cruz County

888-421-8080

Summer lunches from school districts

Contact your local school district to learn more about what is available. You can also check out the California Department of Education’s Summer Meal Sites page for other locations where children can get free meals.

Local farmers markets

You can look up local farmers markets that accept CalFresh

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Did you find this information helpful?

About the contributor:

Kristin Rath

Kristin Rath is a Communications Content Specialist at Central California Alliance for Health (the Alliance). She works with the health plan’s experts to write on a wide range of health care and wellness topics, including checkups, vaccines, behavioral health and food security. Kristin has been with the Alliance since 2019. She holds Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees in communications.

Written in collaboration with subject matter expert: Jessica Finney, Grants Director