Healthy Food Helps Sylvia Feed Her Family and Keep Her Children in School

Healthy Food

The lack of healthy food not only impacts people’s health but also the ability to perform well in school. When students eat healthier food, they are less likely to be tired, retain information and are more attentive in class.

Sylvia and her husband are raising three children in Orange County, one in college, a senior in high school and the youngest in elementary school. Sylvia’s husband has a job in a warehouse, sometimes only getting four days of work a week. Over two years, their rent increased by $400 a month, and the family of five really began to feel the strain. To help make ends meet, Sylvia began working. Then, their oldest offered to drop out of school, get a job and contribute to their income. That’s when Sylvia knew the family needed extra help, and learned about United Way’s Healthy Food Provision program.

Now, Sylvia visits a food bank and brings fresh produce home to her children. They love these fruits and vegetables, which are expensive in the store, but are basic ingredients for their health.

“We’ve been through hard times. We needed milk, but had no money to buy it.”

Lack of Healthy Food Impacts Kids Education

Sylvia says, “We’ve been through hard times. We needed milk, but had no money to buy it.” She was worried when her older children offered to drop out of school to help the family. She continues, “We tell them, ‘We want you to study, to have a better life than the one we are able to give you now, to have more possibilities.’ It’s important that they work at their studies, and it is easier with a full stomach.”

Orange County United Way is Solving Problems in the Community

United Way fights for the education, health, housing and financial stability of every person in Orange County. If you are looking for ways to help the community, learn how to get involved or sign up for our monthly newsletter. Join the Fight!


Sylvia’s family is just one example of many in Orange County, where one in 6 children is at risk of hunger. That’s why Orange County United Way is fighting to ensure everyone in our community has access to wholesome meals. And why partnerships—like the one with Wells Fargo that includes a generous grant to increase access to healthy foods for low-income individuals and families—are vital. United Way has committed to providing more than 1.6 million pounds of nutritious produce and food options and serving 688,000 individuals in need in Orange County this year.

If you would like to support programs like the Healthy School Provision, consider making a financial contribution.

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