With the increasing cost of food feeding your family on a tight budget can be a challenge. Here are some helpful tips to stretch those dollars without sacrificing healthy options for your family.

Have you ever heard of SNAP?

It stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. This government funded program provides income-qualifying families with additional income to purchase food at participating stores. In addition to shopping at a store you can also use your SNAP debit card to shop at your local Farmers Market! Here is Tehama County there is a Farmers Market in Red Bluff every Saturday morning from 9am-1pm at the River Park on Main Street that does accept SNAP payment. During the summer months the Red Bluff Farmers Market Downtown is on Wednesdays and does accept SNAP payment. In Corning during the summer months there is a Farmers Market downtown and they are currently in the process of accepting SNAP payments and are hopeful to have it ready before the summer market starts this June. You can contact the Chamber of Commerce offices for more information on the local Farmers Markets.

Food Banks

In addition to stores and Farmers Markets there are also local Food Banks available. These are a great resource for getting pantry staples such as canned goods, rice and pasta. You can contact the local Gleaners in Red Bluff for more information at 530-529-2264. You can also contact the Community Action Agency for more information on Food Giveaway Events throughout the community 530-527-6159.


Tehama County also has a WIC program with offices in both Red Bluff and Corning. The Women, Infants and Children program provides services for income eligible, pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women with children up to age 5. Eligible clients receive vouchers to purchase healthy foods at participating stores. They also provide nutrition education and referrals to healthcare providers. Contact our local WIC office today to schedule an appointment or find out more information 530-527-8791.

School Meals

If you have school-age children take advantage of the school meal programs. Specific meals vary by district and are healthier than ever. Some after-school programs also provide snacks and/or evening meals. No need to worry when school is out, there is a Summer Food Service Program that will provide your children with nutritious meals.

Meals on Wheels

We all know that seniors live on a very limited budget. Tehama County does have a Senior Nutrition Program that provides a free meal to seniors at the Red Bluff Community Center OR for those over 60 that are physically or mentally challenged and unable to attend a dining site meals can be delivered! Nutritionally balanced meals are delivered Monday-Friday. Space for this service is limited so contact Community Action Agency to learn more 530-527-6159.


Spring is coming and it will be the perfect time to plant your own garden! You don’t need a huge yard or farm to plant a garden. Container gardening can be accomplished even if you live in an apartment. It is a great way to teach kids how plants grow, teach them responsibility of caring for a garden and the accomplishment of harvesting their very own vegetables. All it takes is a simple container such as a clean pot or bucket, some dirt and seeds. Place the container in a sunny spot and keep it watered and soon your kids can enjoy watching their garden grow! Making recipes with the food that they harvested will also make them more likely to actually eat their vegetables!

For tips on making meals that meet nutritional guidelines visit www.choosemyplate.gov.

Source: www.eatright.org, Barbara Gordon, RDN, LD