Boosting Nutrition for Vulnerable Populations

The words "nutrition," "diet" and "food" are often used interchangeably, but "nutrition" stands apart as a key indicator of a person’s health at every stage in life.

Mountain View, CA – The words "nutrition," "diet" and "food" are often used interchangeably, but "nutrition" stands apart as a key indicator of a person’s health at every stage in life. It is part of everyone's everyday life and has a very important effect on their overall well-being, and fortunately good habits can be easy to keep once they’re learned.

Heart Health

"Nutrition is so important to good health and the basics can be learned by everyone: eat more whole foods and do not start eating if you are not hungry," said George Ting, M.D., chair of the El Camino Healthcare District board of directors. "Helping our community understand and have good eating habits are very high priorities for the board."

Nutrition is so important that each year the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recognizes March as National Nutrition month. Because nutrition is such a key aspect of health it has emerged as a major component of the programs funded every year by the El Camino Healthcare District’s community benefit grant program.

This year the district funded 14 programs that promote healthy eating with grants totaling $1.193 million. Two of these are Hope's Corner and the Day Worker Center of Mountain View. Together these two programs will help more than 1,500 people living this year within the district’s boundaries.

Grants to both programs help provide food for meals served to clients in need.

Hope's Corner began in 2011 with a mission to provide nutritious meals and warm showers in a caring and collaborative manner to homeless, low-income and vulnerable individuals in Mountain View and adjacent communities. Today it offers sit-down or to-go meals three times a week, up from once a week pre-pandemic.

"We've seen a growth in need and the grant from the El Camino Healthcare District has helped us meet this challenge," said Hope’s Corner President John Riemenschnitter, who added that philanthropic donations help the organization purchase items that make up a balanced meal, including fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, salad ingredients and dairy products. "One of the things that makes us unique is everyone is welcome – no one has to qualify."

The Day Worker Center of Mountain View was founded in 1996 and provides job-matching services for day workers with hundreds of local homeowners and businesses annually.

In addition to employment opportunities, day workers can benefit from English language classes, job skills training and community involvement activities.

"While our No.1 priority is connecting workers with jobs, we also strive to enrich their lives and enhance their ability to navigate life in the U.S." said Executive Director Maria Marroquin. "We use this grant to ensure workers receive a healthy meal at the start of each day, because nutrition is so important when a person starts their workday."

# # #

About the El Camino Healthcare District

The El Camino Hospital District was established by voter approval in 1956 in accordance with California Local Hospital District Law. The purpose of the district is to establish, maintain and operate or provide assistance in the operation of health facilities and other health care services, provider groups and organizations that are necessary for the maintenance of good physical and mental health in the communities served by the district. The district, now known as El Camino Healthcare District, encompasses most of Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, a large portion of Sunnyvale, and small sections of Cupertino, Santa Clara, and Palo Alto. The publicly elected El Camino Healthcare District Board of Directors approves tax dollar expenditures, including expenditures for the award-winning Community Benefit program. Community Benefit funds are granted each year to local nonprofits, schools and government programs that provide critical health services to the underserved. All district board meetings are publicly noticed, open to the public, and available for viewing on the district website.