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Grey Bears

Organization Mission

Local and vital, Grey Bears promotes nutrition, activity and social connection as a recipe for healthy aging. Our vision is that all seniors live healthy, meaningful lives. Grey Bears has evolved into one of the most efficient and resourceful food distribution, reuse and recycling nonprofits in the U.S.

The Big Idea:
Engage at Every Age

Grey Bears is a nutritional lifeline for 3,800 low-income seniors, families and veterans, delivering weekly brown bags full of fresh produce and healthy staples to Santa Cruz County aging adults. Additional daily food distributions and 40,000 hot meals served annually nourish thousands more. It all adds up to more than 2 million pounds of food distributed each year.

Hundreds of volunteers enjoy more than 20 volunteer opportunities. Their service makes our programs possible while cultivating social support systems and health benefits for both volunteers and participants. Weekly classes include tech help, Spanish, cooking, chair yoga, fix-it clinics, and luncheon events designed to keep seniors active and socially engaged, and help them age with joy, grace and dignity.

The brown bag is a lifesaver. I especially enjoy the organic veggies, but appreciate the whole bag. I love seeing and getting to know people at our site each week. Picking out bread is fun and a great addition to the bag. Thank you!


Susan M., age 65, Santa Cruz