SEEAG hopes to reach over 3,000 school-age children with their healthy eating message.
The County of Ventura Human Services Agency is partnering with Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture (SEEAG) to increase CalFresh enrollment and food access among students and families served by SEEAG’s Ventura County Child Wellness Initiative (VCCWI). CalFresh provides monthly food benefits to individuals and families with low-incomes.
SEEAG’s VCCWI began in 2017. SEEAG staff members travel in an agricultural and nutritional-themed Farm Fresh Mobile Classroom van to Ventura County elementary schools to educate, inspire and empower children and their families to increase their consumption of locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables.
A main VCCWI goal is to reduce rates of childhood obesity and preventable illnesses. Next school year, SEEAG hopes to reach over 3,000 school-age children with their healthy eating message.
Over the summer, SEEAG will work with the Human Services Agency’s CalFresh program to develop a curriculum designed to encourage families to enroll in CalFresh. The CalFresh curriculum will be incorporated into the VCCWI program as students learn about healthy eating habits and how fresh produce is grown.
Bilingual representatives from the county’s CalFresh outreach team will be at SEEAG’s VCCWI school presentations as well as at Food and Health Resource market pop-ups and on virtual webinars.
Major VCCWI health-related partners include Dignity Health St. John’s Regional Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, Clinicas del Camino Real, Gold Coast Health Plan and Adventist Health Simi Valley.
Founded in 2008, Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture (SEEAG) is a nonprofit organization that aims to help young students understand the origins of their food by bridging the gap between agriculture and consumption through its agricultural education programming. SEEAG’s “The Farm Lab” program based in Ventura County teaches schoolchildren about the origins of their food and the importance of local farmland by providing schools with classroom agricultural education and free field trips to farms. Through this and other SEEAG programs, over 60,000 elementary school students in Central and Southern California have increased their understanding of the food journey. For more information, visit www.seeag.org or email Mary Maranville at [email protected].