Transitions-Mental Health Association (TMHA) is delighted to receive a generous grant from The Henry Mayo Newhall Foundation. TMHA is a community based, non-profit human services agency serving people who live in San Luis Obispo and Northern Santa Barbara Counties.

The $20,000 grant will support the Growing Grounds Farm in Santa Maria’s collaborative initiative to grow, pay workers  wages , and distribute vegtable seedlings and herb plants to low-income neighborhoods.

“We have partnered with Foodbank and the U.C. Cooperative Extension Service to grow vegtabale seedlings for people who rely on the Foodbank for survivial. We are diong this to teach people how to grow their own food and increase their access to healthy fresh vegtables,” said Frank Ricceri, Associate Director at TMHA who oversees Northern Santa Barbara County.

“The Henry Mayo Newhall Foundation has been funding the Farm annually since 2007 when several Trustees’ toured the four-acre site,” explained Ricceri. “The visit resonated with the Trustees’ sense of their agricultural roots and long farming history in this region of California.  The seven- year-old Farm hiring disabled adults seemed to inspire the Trustees and they have given annually ever since.  In fact, the idea to collaborate with the Foodbank was at the Foundation’s urging.”

Growing Grounds Farm, an employment program TMHA has operated in Santa Maria since 2000 provides horticultural therapy, vocational training, independent living skills and paid employment annually to over 40 people with a severe mental illness.


The Henry Mayo Newhall Foundation is a non-profit organization which supports charitable, cultural and agricultural programs in specific areas of California. The San Francisco-based Foundation was created in 1963 by fourth-generation descendants of California entrepreneur and pioneer Henry Mayo Newhall.  The Foundation’s endowment is the result of contributions from members of the Newhall family. The Foundation’s purpose is to fund projects that exemplify the life and goals of Henry Mayo Newhall, as summarized in its mission statement: “To improve the quality of life within the geographical areas associated with the career and legacy of California pioneer Henry Mayo Newhall.” For more information, visit


Transitions-Mental Health Association is a non-profit organization that helps children and adults live, work and grow in our community. TMHA operates 27 programs at over 35 locations that reach over 2,000 people and 1,500 families in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. The emphasis of TMHA’s many services is to teach vital independent living skills, and build a framework for community re-entry through personal empowerment and hands on experience. For over 30 years, T-MHA has been dedicated to providing housing, employment, case management and life-skills support to teens and adults with mental illness; and support, resources and education for their loved ones. For more information, visit