Agency Spotlight- Watsonville Wetland Watch
We are going to briefly learn about a program that educates students on the Watsonville Wetlands.
Did you know?
- There are over 220 species of birds in Watsonville Wetlands
- It’s one of the largest remaining freshwater wetlands in the central coast of California.
Unfortunately, the wetlands of California are having a bit of trouble; 90% of the wetlands in California have been destroyed or degraded. The city of Watsonville and Watsonville Wetland Watch are working to preserve 800 acres of Watsonville’s wetland. And guess what? Watsonville Wetland Watch is a partnering Agency with Second Harvest Food Bank.
We at Second Harvest get to work with Darren Gertler, the Environmental Education Specialist, who’s been working at Watsonville Wetland Watch Since August of 2014. Darren helps teach students at Pajaro Valley High school about the wetland’s wildlife and environment. Asking Darren why the Watsonville Wetland Watch is important to the community, he says: “Our program is important to our community because it is helping to foster a young generation of local teenagers that will grow up with an appreciation and respect for our environment. The more people in Watsonville that appreciate its natural beauty the more of the wetlands will be preserved and restored for many years to come.”
Darren also understands the important of nutrition towards his students. He provides healthy fruits, vegetables, and snack products to his students. Why is healthy food important to him? Asking Darren, he replies: “Nutritious food is important to me because most of my teenagers do not understand the true benefits of eating healthy food. Most of our students aren’t able to provide their own nutritious food. The free and reduced school lunches that most of our students depend on leave some room for improvement in our student’s daily diets.”
Learning how we can help our environment will help ensure a healthy ecosystem. Watsonville Wetlands is the part of Watsonville where we can go and enjoy nature and wildlife. Keeping it maintained will allow us to appreciate its beauty for years to come. Darren and his team do a great job in not just educating their students, but also providing their students with healthy and nutritious food. Second Harvest Food Bank is proud to have Darren Gertler with Watsonville Wetland Watch as a partnering agency.
For those whom know or don’t know, we have a English and Spanish menu at the distribution center (located on the counter next to the door). I will post these menu’s and a small recipe card on the blog as well. Click on the highlighted sections below and it will open you up to the information.
Chicken and Strawberry Spinach Salad Which is English and Spanish- Recipe Cards
If you have any fun recipes to share then by all means send them my way. I have a “Agency Recipe of the Month” (great recipes I tend to hear that agency representatives are cooking up).
Attention all shoppers!
Please pack all products in smaller quantities! Do not pack heavy!
If a product is seen to be OVER 50lbs then our volunteers are NOT obligated to lift that product.
We don’t want our volunteers to hurt themselves while lifting heavy boxes. Please pack products in smaller boxes
The Earth is covered in it (about 72%), 2/3 of your body is filled with it, and on hot summer days we can’t get enough of it- its water!
Water helps in more ways than quenching your thirst, water:
- Helps keep our body temperature normal
- Lubricates joints
- Removes waste through perspiration, urination, bowel movement
- Protects delicate tissues such as the spinal cord
It’s no surprise our body is constantly losing water. If you have headaches, that may be a sign of dehydration. Hopefully you never get to that point. It’s important to continuously drink water. Another cool fact is that you can eat fruits to help rehydrate! Fruits like watermelon, tomatoes, and celery have a high amount of water.
- Maintain a healthy weight
- A great substitute to sugary beverages
- Hydrates and improves brain function
- Increases energy, prevents muscle weakness
- Replaces fluids when we’re sick
- Improves digestion
- And helps with healthy skin
There are three types of water we can learn about when drinking it…
Bottled Water: If there are no special methods of filtration, it might be tap water you are paying extra money for.
Filtered Water: An improved taste in tap water
Tap Water: Contains a partial amount fluoride which helps prevent tooth decay.
Let’s see how water compares with other well-bought beverages.
|Drink (12-ounce serving)
||Teaspoons of Sugar
||2 1/3 teaspoons
|Powdered Drink Mix (with sugar)
Did you know– $6.6 billion a year is spent on sugary drinks!
Make a habit of checking the ingredients in not just the water you buy, but any product. You’ll realize the sugary drinks you buy contain a lot more than just sugar, and the water you pay $6 might just be a $1 quality in fancier bottle.
So grab a cup or a bottle and fill it up with some H2o – your body NEEDS it. The more, the better, just look at those benefits!
Janus of Santa Cruz
Second Harvest Food Bank is proud to work with Janus of Santa Cruz. This organization has been, for 40 years (40-year anniversary this year!), helping people recover from addiction. Janus of SC was founded in 1976 by physician Dr. Robert G. O’Brien. In 1981 Janus became a private non-profit organization that serves over 2,500 clients and families each year. This organization has one mission: to provide supportive, hope-inspiring and successful substance abuse services in a professional and compassionate environment while assisting individuals and families on their journey toward wellness and recovery.
Janus of SC provides A LOT of different programs, co-occurring disorder treatment including:
- In patient/outpatient treatment
- Perinatal services
- DUI education
- Medication assisted treatments
- Supervise sober living environments
We, at the Foodbank, get to work with Nate Calderon. Nate is the Food Service Coordinator at Janus. Coming this October Nate will celebrate 3 years at Janus of Santa Cruz. He and his staff provide fresh, healthy food for many residents and for the several programs Janus offers. Nate introduces fruits and vegetables as the basic staple in every meal. Whenever Nate arrives he goes straight to work, picking up his order and getting a few things at the distribution center. Nate and his staff understand that Fast Food and unhealthy eating habits are easy to fall into; He works hard to not only provide nutritious meals, but to re-introduce fruits and vegetables as the right and primary choice. “People wouldn’t normally be eating this many fruits and vegetables. We are offering a healthier alternative and promoting good health.” – Nate. Doing this, Nate says he and his staff are “planting the seed”, hoping that whenever residents leave the supervised sober living environments they can take healthy/nutritious food with them rather than falling back into the possible un-healthy habits they arrived in. Second Harvest Food Bank agrees with Nate and his team 100%.
Portobello Mushroom Fajitas
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 C Red Onion Sliced
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- 3 Tbsp Fresh Cilantro, chopped
- ¼ tsp Black Pepper
- 8 oz Portobello Mushrooms
- 1 Medium Bell Pepper
- ½ tsp Chili Powder
- 1 Medium Lime
- 4 Whole Wheat Tortillas
- Heat oil in large, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms; sauté 5 minutes until almost tender.
- Add onion, bell pepper, cumin, chili powder, black pepper; squeeze lime juice over veggies.
- Cook for 4 minutes or until bell pepper is crisp-tender, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro.
- Spoon ½ to ¾ cup mixture down center of each tortilla and roll up each tortilla.
- Less than 30 minutes to prepare
- A complete meal with a balance of carbohydrates, fat and protein to keep blood sugars stable.
- The vitamin C in the bell peppers helps absorb the iron in the whole wheat tortillas.
Fajitas de Hongos Portobellos
- 1 cucharada Aciete de Olivo
- 1 Taza Cebollas, en rebanadas
- 1 cucharadas Cilantro, cortado
- ¼ cucharita de Pimienta Negra
- 8 onzas de Hongas portobellos
- 1 Pimenton en rebanadas
- ½ cucharita Polvo de chile
- 1 Limon
- 4 tortillas de trigo
- Calentar el aceite en una sarten grandee n fuego medio. Anada los hongos; salteados 5 minutos hasta que estan casi tiernos
- Anadir la cebolla, el pimiento, el comino, el chile en polvo, pimiento; estruja el jugo de lima sobre las verduras.
- Cocinar por 4 minutos o hasta que el pimiento esta tierno, revolviendo con frecuencia. Retirelo del calor; anade el cilantro.
- Con una cuchara pone de ½ a ¾ taza de la mezcla por debajo del centro de cada tortilla y enrollarla.
- Menos de 30 minutos concinar
- Una cena completa con un equilibrio de nutrients Bueno para las azucares de sangre
- La vitamin C en el pimento ayuda la absorcion de hierra en las tortillas de trigo.