SEEAG Receives $55,000 Grant From Dignity Health St. John’s Hospitals

Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture (SEEAG) was selected to receive a $55,000 grant from St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital (SJPVH) and St. John’s Regional Medical Center (SJRMC), members of Dignity Health.

According to a UCLA study, about 35 percent of children are considered overweight or obese in Ventura County, with higher rates in poorer neighborhoods.

The grant funds will go towards expanding SEEAG’s “Ventura County Child Wellness Initiative” with a focus on the Oxnard, Rio and Hueneme Elementary school districts. The program educates and inspires children to eat healthy by adding locally grown Ventura County specialty crops to their diet. SEEAG brings its mobile classroom van to schools where SEEAG instructors provide hands-on nutrition education to third graders. Over 2,800 students will take part in the program during the 2020 calendar year.

Each participating student receives a Wellness Swag Bag containing educational materials, produce samples, recipes and a dental hygiene kit. The grant will enable SEEAG to add a bilingual educator to the program, create five farmers market pop-ups within the targeted school districts that will provide free produce and nutritional information for families and include a jump rope in each of the Wellness Swag Bags. Dignity Health has also donated an RV to SEEAG to facilitate the program. Health events at St. John’s Regional Medical Center will provide additional bilingual education to families.

“Many farmworkers’ children are enrolled in the targeted school districts. They are an important population to reach with our message,” says Mary Maranville, CEO/founder of SEEAG. “SEEAG is grateful for Dignity Health’s support of the Child Wellness Initiative, The grant is recognition that our efforts to educate children about eating healthy if very much needed in Ventura County.”

“By funding this local organization that has a shared mission to help provide critical health services to our communities, we are able to collaboratively improve the health and well-being of the vulnerable and underserved,” said Darren Lee, President and CEO of St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital and St. John’s Regional Medical Center. “We are motivated by the impact this grant will have on the lives of our community members.”

Other organizations teaming up with SEEAG to make the Ventura County Child Wellness Initiative successful are Reiter Affiliated Companies’ Sambrando Salud Program, Clinicas del Camino Real and Ventura County Public Health.

To learn more about SEEAG, go to or contact Maranville at [email protected], 805-901-0213.

SEEAG School Program


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 25,000 elementary school students in Southern California have increased their understanding of the food journey. For more information, visit or email Mary Maranville at [email protected]

About Dignity Health St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital and St. John’s Regional Medical Center

About Dignity Health St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital and St. John’s Regional Medical Center St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital in Camarillo and St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard are members of Dignity Health Central Coast, an integrated network of top quality hospitals, with physicians from the most prestigious medical schools, and comprehensive outpatient services – all recognized for quality, safety and service. Both hospitals are supported by an active philanthropic Foundation to help meet the growing health care needs of our communities. Hospitals in the Dignity Health Central Coast region also include Arroyo Grande Community Hospital in Arroyo Grande, French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria. Learn more at and


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