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Santa Cruz food banks and pantries.

A number of food assistance programs are available for the needy, low income, and at risk families in the Santa Cruz County California region. Each location will do its best to help the less fortunate. The centers may offer free groceries, government surplus commodities, and more.

While the focus is always on providing healthy food to the needy, some of the centers can provide other forms of assistance as well. For example, as funding allows, the non-profits may have items such as clothing, baby formula, or school supplies. Most of the Santa Cruz pantries can also direct clients to state of California and federal government aid, such as CalFresh food stamps. So call for referrals.

Also, if you can donate goods or time to the food banks, please do so. This will allow the locations to continue to help lower income and struggling families.

Walnut Avenue Women's Center
303 Walnut Avenue
Santa Cruz, California, 95060
Programs are offered for youth, including development and mentoring. Other resources for clients include food, clothing, diapers, and career counseling.

St. Vincent De Paul Society Of Santa Cruz
210 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA, 95060
A leading charity organization of churches. Volunteers provide limited amounts of financial assistance for basic needs such as food, holiday meals, and maybe even bills. Baby formula and more is offered too.




The Salvation Army Watsonville Corps Community Center
The pantry is located at 112 Grant Avenue
Watsonville, CA, 95076
The non-profit offers a free hot meal daily to anyone in need, assistance with rent, food bag distribution, clothing, and Christmas meals and gifts. Shelter and case management is offered.
A second location is at 721 Laurel Street, Santa Cruz, California, 95060. Telephone number is 831-426-8365.

Community Action Board Of Santa Cruz County, Inc. Davenport Resource Service Center
150 Church Street
Davenport, CA, 95017
Call 831-425-8115
The non-profit provides a variety of food assistance programs. For example, they run a program known as Passion for Produce that distributes fresh vegetables and fruits from the food bank. Other services include the USDA Surplus items. A regular pantry also distributes many canned goods and groceries and emergency programs are available as well.

Inner Light Ministries
5630 Soquel Drive
Soquel, California, 95073
The organization serves as a Second Harvest food distribution site in Santa Cruz.

Calvary Episcopal Church
Food pantry address is 532 Center Street
Santa Cruz, CA, 95060
Telephone - 831-423-8787

Valley Churches United Missions
9430 Love Creek Road
Ben Lomond, CA, 95005
Food pantry and free holiday meals and turkeys are offered.

Mountain Community Resources (MCR)
Main address - 6134 Highway 9
Felton, CA, 95018
Government programs offered include Women, Infants and Children (WIC), ESL classes, advocacy, emergency assistance and more.

Community Bridges Live Oak Family Resource Center
Address: 1740 - 17th Avenue
Santa Cruz, California, 95062
Call 831-476-7284 for hours
Support is offered for new parents, infants, babies, and more. A food pantry is on site. Receive other assistance including education programs and home visits.





Catholic Charities
217 E Lake Avenue
Watsonville, CA, 95076
Call the pantry at 831-722-2675

Aptos Christian Fellowship
7200 Freedom Boulevard
Aptos, CA, 95003
A food pantry is offered for local families.

Pajaro Valley Loaves And Fishes, Inc.
Location - 150 - 2nd Street
Watsonville, CA, 95076
A number of food assistance programs and resources are offered in Santa Cruz County. Among them are a free hot lunch every weekday. The non-profit also offers information and referral for related services such as shelters, financial help and other basic needs. A focus is on the elderly, disabled, and homeless. Food offered includes fresh fruit, ice or potatoes, vegetables, salad, and even a dessert. Also apply for food stamps/CalFresh at the location.

Elm Street Mission
117 Elm Street
Santa Cruz, California, 95060

Santa Cruz Aids Project
313 Front Street
Santa Cruz, California, 95060
Phone - 831-427-3900

Pajaro Rescue Mission
Main address: 111 Railroad Avenue
Watsonville, CA, 95076
Emergency food, clothing, and even items like furniture may be offered.

Familia Center And Beach Flats Community Center
711 E Cliff Drive
Santa Cruz, CA, 95060
Low-income and Latino families can get help, including information on eviction prevention, employment, access to health care, CalFresh and other aid.

Community Bridges La Manzana Community Resources – Food pantry
521 Main Street, Suite Y
Watsonville, California, 95076
Telephone number: 831-724-2997
Receive help with public benefits assistance,  parent support groups, a computer lab, and referrals.

Twin Lakes Church
2701 Cabrillo College Drive, Room 704
Aptos, CA, 95003
Main number is 831-566-3791




By Jon McNamara

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