Nutrition Outreach for Lompoc Kids
Updated: Apr 19, 2022
As part of Child Abuse Prevention Month, we're promoting seven stress-busting strategies for building resilience, and one of these is Balanced Nutrition. We're pleased to report on two new developments that will increase access to balanced nutrition in our County: an expanded nutrition outreach program, and a mobile farmers market.
The Power of Produce: Lompoc Nutritional Outreach Program
Piloted by Route 1 in 2019, the Power of Produce program teaches kids where their food comes from and how to make healthy eating choices. Due to the positive response from the kids, new buffering services grant funding will be used to expand the program across all Lompoc YMCA after-school sites.
The program includes seasonal classes and lessons that follow along with a food-related book, while giving kids opportunities to try the fruits and vegetables they are reading about. This teaching method accommodates multiple learning styles, so each child can connect to the curriculum in their own way. Along with the lesson plan, kids receive a produce bag along with healthy recipe cards and farmer’s market vouchers that let them buy their own fruits and vegetables. This empowers kids to make their own choices, and even helps bring together families, as kids are excited to bring their siblings and parents to the market with them.
This collaborative effort includes the Lompoc Valley Community Healthcare Organization (LVCHO), the Lompoc Family YMCA, the Route One Farmers Market. Support from the Network of Care enables staff to deliver this program with a new understanding about trauma and how children’s early experiences can affect their learning.
Treats on the Streets: Mobile Farmers Market
The community will also see the launch of the new Route One's new Lompoc Mobile Farmers Market: the first mobile farmers market in Santa Barbara County. The mobile market hit the streets will start roam the streets in approximately six weeks. It will increase local access to fresh fruits and vegetables, provide more opportunities for community engagement and education, and help support the local economy's farmers and workers.
The Resilience Connection
Actions that build resilience against the effects of trauma and toxic stress can help reduce the likelihood and impact of child abuse or neglect. Balanced nutrition is one of seven simple stress-busting strategies that can help strengthen resilience. The POP program builds interest in balanced nutrition, and the mobile market builds access to it. When children and families make their own healthy choices, their brains and bodies benefit.
You can visit the Route One Farmers Market's fixed location in Vandenberg Village on Sundays at 3745 Constellation Road from 10am-2pm. Trauma-informed educational lessons about navigating the market are provided from 11am-1pm through June, 2022.
The mobile market will make various stops once up and running, including various YMCA sites and the Lompoc Health Care Center.
For links to more information about the various organizations and programs, see this article on the Resilient Santa Barbara County blog:
—Isabella Clark and Dennis Tivey