Monthly Archives: November 2015

Foodbank of Santa Barbara County makes last call for turkey, healthy food donations

Courtesy photo

SANTA BARBARA — Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is still seeking turkeys, chickens, and healthy food donations to provide 30,000 County families healthy and nutritious holiday meals.

The last day to donate turkeys, chickens and healthy food is Monday, November 23. 

The Foodbank aims to provide complete meals this holiday season to each family in need. The community can donate healthy food items such as whole grains, vegetarian and animal proteins, and fruits and vegetables. A complete list of healthy foods to donate can be found here.

Where to Donate:

Santa Barbara Warehouse
4554 Hollister Ave.
Santa Barbara, CA 93110
7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday

Santa Maria Warehouse:
490 W. Foster Road
Santa Maria, CA 93455
7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday

About Foodbank Santa Barbara County: The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is transforming health by eliminating hunger and food insecurity through good nutrition and food literacy. The Foodbank provides nourishment and education through its award-winning programs and a network of over 300 member non-profit partners. In Santa Barbara County, one in four people receive food support from the Foodbank; over 146,000 unduplicated people of whom nearly 35% are children. Last year, the Foodbank distributed 9.7 million pounds of food — half of which was fresh produce. For more information, visit www.foodbanksbc.org.

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Today Is Foodbank Deadline For Turkey Donations

Santa Barbara And Santa Maria Warehouses Accepting Big Birds Until 5:30 P.M.

Foodbank_of_Santa_Barbara_County_in_Santa_Maria.

Today is the last day for those wanting to donate a turkey, chicken or other healthy Thanksgiving items to the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

Volunteers and staffers will accept drop off donations until 5:30 p.m. Monday at the Santa Barbara warehouse at 4554 Hollister Ave. and the Santa Maria Warehouse at  490 W. Foster Road.

Foodbank of Santa Barbara County estimates 30,000 local families are in need for the holidays. Overall donations will help provide 1.16 million meals.

Other healthy food items accepted include whole grains, vegetarian and animal proteins, and fruits and vegetables.

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is transforming health by eliminating hunger and food insecurity through good nutrition and food literacy. The Foodbank provides nourishment and education through its award-winning programs and a network of over 300 member non-profit partners.

In Santa Barbara County, one in four people receive food support from the Foodbank; over 146,000 unduplicated people of whom nearly 35% are children. Last year, the Foodbank distributed 9.7 million pounds of food – half of which was fresh produce.

Both warehouses will close early Wednesday through the holiday weekend, then reopen Monday and begin collections for the winter holiday season.

For more information, visit www.foodbanksbc.org.

Rescue Mission provides Thanksgiving meal for more than a decade

November 22, 2015 12:00 am  • 

For more than a decade, the Central Coast Rescue Mission has provided a public Thanksgiving meal for citizens of Santa Maria, and it takes careful coordination to pull the event off.

“It’s traditional Thanksgiving food. People are so happy and sometimes they’re alone but often its families there and they’re just so glad to be fed and have a nice Thanksgiving meal,” said Mayor Alice Patino, who attends the meal.

The meal on Tuesday at the Santa Maria Veterans’ Memorial Building will include a traditional Thanksgiving meal of turkey, cranberries, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, dinner rolls and dessert for about 1,000 people.

“The Rescue Mission always invites me to welcome people and I really enjoy doing that,” Patino said. “Santa Maria really cares about its people and the Rescue Mission does an incredible amount of work to put this on.”

This weekend, Rescue Mission staff and volunteers have been doing their final shopping, storing and preparing to make the meal possible. The whole process begins in October.

“For several weeks, we have been collecting,” said Larry Cooney, Rescue Mission director. “We have some individual donors and then the Santa Barbara County Foodbank is a big contributor to make sure it all works out.”

One of the biggest concerns every year is having enough turkey, and this year, they we’re relieved to meet their goal, Cooney said.

“A big deal for us is making sure we have all the turkeys we need,”

But it’s not just the big Thanksgiving meal that is supported by the Rescue Mission. They also distribute turkeys and groceries to between 20 and 30 families so that they can cook a meal and enjoy it in their own homes.

The Rescue Mission does a similar event — with about 1,300 people — at Christmas, too.

“We do a lot of outreach,” Cooney said. “This is just kind of aligning those into a greater effort to feed more people at one time and to remind them of the emphasis and significance of the holidays.”

Every Monday at 5 p.m. at Santa Maria Four Square Church, the Rescue Mission contributes a free hot meal and conversation, along with making hygiene products and Bibles available. They do it again on Fridays at the same time at the Power of God Christian Center. The meals are open to anyone who wants them.

Top 5 ways to give back during the holiday season

From local shelter animals to foster children, there are many members of our community who can use extra assistance this holiday season. Listed below are the Top 5 ways to lend a helping hand while also saving through tax deductions.

1. Adopt a family

Child Abuse Listening Mediation (CALM) has been expanding to North County for years. After moving into a new office earlier this year, the organization is requesting donations.

After over 270 families received assistance during the holidays last year, Child Abuse Listening Mediation (CALM) of Santa Barbara County is hosting its sixth annual holiday gift-giving program.

Participants in the Adopt a Family event are matched with a family in need, will shop for them following a detailed wish list and bring the wrapped gifts to CALM by Dec. 7.

If you would like to adopt a family, email sfuhring@calm4kids.org or visit the the Santa Maria or Lompoc offices. The Santa Maria office is located at 210 E. Enos Dr. Suite A, and the Lompoc location is at 604 E. Ocean Ave., Suite G.

2. Be a wish granter

Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) will be hosting a party for hundreds of CASA children and their volunteer advocates with the goal to ensure every child in foster care receives a Christmas gift.

Many children living in foster care will not be spending the holidays with family and friends, while others never have celebrated the holidays.

Each year, Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) hosts a party for hundreds of CASA children and their volunteer advocates with the goal to ensure every child in foster care receives a Christmas gift.

Gifts are supplied via community contributions. Each contributor receives a child’s wish list, which may include items such as bikes, dolls and more.

“Wish granters are community sponsors and range from individuals to businesses. We provide the child’s gender, age and wish list, and the wish granter purchases the gifts and makes the child’s wish come true,” said CASA’s Executive Director Kim Colby-Davis.

Those interested in fulfilling a child’s wish can contact volunteer@sbcasa.org. The deadline for gifts is Dec. 5, and all gifts must be unwrapped in gift bags.

3. Donate to the local animal shelter

Loki waits in his kennelat the Santa Maria Animal Shelter, which is expected to reopen next week.

Humans are not the only ones who need assistance during the winter season. Many animals are forgotten during the holidays, while the need for donations still is strong.

The Santa Barbara County Animal Services Santa Maria and Lompoc shelters are most in need of Kongs and other dispensing interactive toys, high-value dog treats, Nylabones, round cat beds, cat wands, soft cat toys, pill pockets, oatmeal-based shampoo and untreated wooden mats for the rabbits.

The Lompoc LaPAWS shelter specifically needs pet food pantry donations —which goes to local families who cannot afford pet food — and Tupperware tote containers for dog food.

“The donations to the pet food pantry could be one less expense for a family and may keep dogs out of the shelter,” said Community Outreach Coordinator Stacy Silva.

Drop-off donations are at the Santa Maria Animal Center, 548 W. Foster Road, and the Lompoc LaPAWS shelter, 1501 W. Central Ave.

4. Donate food to the Foodbank

Foodbank of Santa Barbara County Warehouse Manager Steve Hoxie loads turkeys donated by Stu and Jan Bartleson (not pictured) onto a pallet during last year’s drive.

While the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County always needs donations, the need is especially high during the holidays.

Development Manager Judi Monte said there is an increased need for food during the holidays because of the lack of work in certain areas and the high purchasing price of certain foods as a result of produce not coming out.

“It’s a double whammy. There is greater need, and it costs us more,” Monte explained.

Monte said the Foodbank needs to raise $160,000 to address food needs through the end of the year, noting that every dollar donation equals to eight meals.

The Thanksgiving Drive is currently underway and ends Thursday. The Foodbank hopes to collect 1.4 million pounds of food and 4,000 turkeys or chickens before the drive ends.

Food donations can be dropped off between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. weekdays at the Santa Maria warehouses, 490 W. Foster Road.

5. Give away gift cards

Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley is asking for the public’s assistance in bringing holiday cheer to 200 local teenagers.

This year, Church for Life and Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley are partnering with Child Welfare Services to provide every Santa Barbara County teenager in foster care a $100 gift card.

Donations in any amount can be made online or by check. Checks can be made out to Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley, 201 S. Miller St., Suite 208, in Santa Maria, with the memo “Be Christmas.” Online donations can be made at www.fbsmv.com/foster-youth-be-christmas.

Turkeys distributed to local charities


 Assembly Member Katcho Achadjian partnered with Golden State Water to distribute turkeys to local charities. (KSBY)
Assembly Member Katcho Achadjian partnered with Golden State Water to distribute turkeys to local charities. (KSBY)

Thanksgiving is just over a week away, and on Tuesday, a few local charities collected some turkeys to hand out.

As part of its Operation Gobble program, Golden State Water Company distributed 100 turkeys to the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, 5 Cities Homeless Coalition, Senior Nutrition Program of SLO County, and the Family Resource Center.

“By reaching out, we bring those spirits up,” said Assembly Member Katcho Achadjian, who partnered with Golden State Water to distribute the turkeys locally.

Golden State Water will distribute more than 8,000 turkeys to non-profit organizations throughout the state this month.

Santa Maria Empty Bowls Boosts Foodbank Funding

North County fundraiser one of two planned for fall, with Santa Barbara Empty Bowls set for Sunday

Santa Barbara County Supervisor Steve Lavagnino serves soup with a flourish during Wednesday’s Empty Bowls event at the Santa Maria Fairpark.

Santa Barbara County Supervisor Steve Lavagnino serves soup with a flourish during Wednesday’s Empty Bowls event at the Santa Maria Fairpark. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)A variety of soups poured into colorful ceramic bowls by local celebrities will help the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County continue to battle hunger and malnutrition.

Hundreds of people turned out Wednesday for the 14th annual Empty Bowls at the Santa Maria Fairpark.

For $25, attendees received a ceramic bowl, many handcrafted by artists and students, and a variety of soups made by 20 local restaurants.

Offerings included garden vegetable with pesto, ham and navy bean, potato leek, tomato bisque and more, ladled into bowls by television anchors, elected officials and restaurant representatives.

Guests went home with their colorful soup bowls, which Foodbank officials said will serve as a reminder of the ongoing hunger problem and empty bowls needing to be filled every day in the community.

“This is just a great opportunity for the Santa Maria community to help meet the Santa Maria need,” said Judith Monte, North County development manager for the Foodbank.

The Santa Maria event was one of two scheduled within four days to help the Foodbank.

Empty Bowls Santa Barbara is set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1, at the Ben Page Youth Center, 4540 Hollister Ave., with several seating options.

Tickets, $30 each, are available here.

The Santa Maria event has grown so popular organizers now sell tickets for two separate seatings, with the first nearly sold out a week before.

Pre-sale tickets were higher than last year, Monte said. Raffle drawing tickets also proved popular.

She credited the growth with the Foodbank’s relationships developed with businesses and corporations.

“We have new soup vendors and new sponsors so we’re looking for a very successful event,” Monte said, adding they hoped to raise approximately $45,000.

“Bottom line, we’re serving one out of four people countywide,” Monte said. “That’s a lot of people.”

In the Santa Maria Valley alone, the Foodbank aided 57,000 people last year, officials said.

Agencies such as Catholic Charities, Salvation Army, Good Samaritan and scores of other groups with food programs in the Santa Maria Valley are among recipients of the Foodbank’s resources.

While the organization receives donated food, funding also is needed to handle and transport it to distribution locations. The Foodbank is assisted by more than 300 distribution programs helping get food into the residents’ hands.

“We’re able to turn every dollar donated into eight meals worth of food,” she said. “But as you can imagine with one out four people that’s a lot of meals we have to provide.”

In addition to the benefits each fall in Santa Maria and Santa Barbara, the organization also hosts Empty Bowls each March in Lompoc.

Santa Maria Mayor Alice Patino is served a bowl of soup by KSBY news personality Jeanette Tompeter Wednesday during the Empty Bowls event at the Santa Maria Fairpark. Click to view larger

Santa Maria Mayor Alice Patino is served a bowl of soup by KSBY news personality Jeanette Tompeter Wednesday during the Empty Bowls event at the Santa Maria Fairpark. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

Judy Foreman: Ilvento’s Proprio Italiano Earns Oprah’s Sauce of Approval

Thanks to inclusion on this year’s Oprah’s Favorite Things, jars are flying off start-up company’s shelves

Dr. Joe Ilvento and daughter, Juliana Fitzpatrick, right, with Amy Isabella Chalker, owner of Isabella Gourmet Foods in Santa Barbara. The father-daughter duo recently brought their Ilvento’s Proprio Italiano sauce to the store as part of a benefit for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. Dr. Joe Ilvento and daughter, Juliana Fitzpatrick, right, with Amy Isabella Chalker, owner of Isabella Gourmet Foods in Santa Barbara. The father-daughter duo recently brought their Ilvento’s Proprio Italiano sauce to the store as part of a benefit for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. (Judy Foreman / Noozhawk photo)

Please permit a boast, if you will. Back in 2014, I wrote about a start-up Italian tomato sauce company owned by Dr. Joe Ilvento, a local cardiologist, and his attorney daughter, Juliana Ilvento Fitzpatrick.

The endeavor was based on family recipes from the elder Ilvento’s family’s restaurant, which was opened in Jersey City, N.J., in 1933 by his grandfather, Joe, and passed down to his father, Pete.

The feature article turned out to be my second most-read column of that year .

At the time, Ilvento’s Proprio Italiano (Truly Italian) was being made and bottled at Julia Crookston’s Goodland Kitchen & Market in Old Town Goleta and had sold 24 jars — thanks to Isabella Gourmet Foods in downtown Santa Barbara and Legacy in Montecito.

The main ingredient, according to the father-daughter duo, is the wonderful plum tomatoes they import directly from San Marzano in Italy’s Sarno Valley. Grown near Mount Vesuvius, the volcanic soil infuses the tomatoes with a great smoky flavor, even before cooking them. The tomatoes carry the Italian government’s highest certification.

This year has been a game changer. It recently was revealed on ABC’s Good Morning America that Ilvento’s Proprio Italiano sauces made the cut for Oprah Winfrey’s annual Oprah’s Favorite Things in the latest O Magazine.

The “Ilvento’s Proprio Italiano Doppio Delizioso” gift basket contains a gift set of two sauces and one pasta presented with a logo flour sack towel and heirloom family recipe cards held in a useful colander.

According to magazine creative director Adam Glassman, the holidays begin the summer before, when he scouts prospects at gifts shows and markets across the country. He and Gayle King, a veteran sidekick of Winfrey’s, cull and chat with the entertainment mogul via Skype to narrow the picks.

Oprah Winfrey included Ilvento’s Proprio Italiano sauces in her annual Oprah’s Favorite Things list in the latest O Magazine. Click to view larger

Oprah Winfrey included Ilvento’s Proprio Italiano sauces in her annual Oprah’s Favorite Things list in the latest O Magazine. (Judy Foreman / Noozhawk photo)

“We try everything and gain weight doing that,” Glassman said.

In August, they do a big summit at a rented studio and spend two days going through more than 500 items. The team tries to choose items based on relevancy. Among the questions to be answered: Will people like it? Will it bring joy and passion to their lives?

Of course, it’s also about things that Winfrey wants to give to her family and friends.

Glassman knows that companies are really “made” by being on Oprah’s Favorite Things list. All companies, including the Ilventos’, are scrutinized and vetted.

This year, O magazine is also sourcing stocking stuffers and bigger gifts at a variety of prices on Amazon.com. With the convenience of the online retailer, Glassman suspects a lot of Oprah’s Favorite Things will sell out before Christmas.

When I caught up with the Ilventos — including Dr. Judy Dean, a radiologist and Joe’s wife and Juliana’s mom — at  a recent fundraiser for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, they were as surprised at being included on the Winfrey wish list as the rest of those chosen for the honor.

They also were grateful for Noozhawk’s original coverage when they first launched the business.

The Ilvento’s Proprio Italiano Doppio Delizioso Gift Basket is available on Amazon.com.

The Ilvento’s Proprio Italiano Doppio Delizioso Gift Basket is available on Amazon.com. (Ilvento’s Proprio Italiano photo)

Winfrey revealed her picks on her TV show and in print. After her mere mention of the Ilventos’ sauce — and the gift basket included in Good Morning America’s “Deals and Steals” segment, the Ilventos had sold 14,000 jars of sauce even before the magazine came out.

Winfrey — one of the most famous residents of the 93108 — happens to be a longtime neighbor of the Ilventos, and has come to know and love their authentic, slow-cooked sauces and welcoming, family-style entertaining.

They truly are honored by Winfrey’s recognition.

“She’s discovered many great food products from small companies, and I’m thrilled that she likes our sauces,” Ilvento told Noozhawk.

His daughter went even further.

“Oprah is not only a media icon, but also an inspiration to young businesswomen,” she said.

Click here for more information about Ilvento’s Proprio Italiano, including the complete line of sauces and recipes.

Santa Barbara County Foodbank Holds Table of Life Fundraiser

Foodbank of Santa Barbara County Kicks Off Turkey Drive For Holiday Season

Organization seeks donations to help ensure needy families have Thanksgiving meal

Stu and Jan Bartleson, third and second from right, joined Wells Fargo Bank representatives to help the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County jumpstart the Thanksgiving Drive by donating 100 turkeys on Monday at the organization’s Santa Maria warehouse.

Stu and Jan Bartleson, third and second from right, joined Wells Fargo Bank representatives to help the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County jumpstart the Thanksgiving Drive by donating 100 turkeys on Monday at the organization’s Santa Maria warehouse. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

 

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County launched its annual Thanksgiving Drive Monday by accepting 100 frozen turkeys donated by an Orcutt couple.

This marked the 10th year Stu and Jan Bartleson have donated turkeys to jumpstart the annual campaign to collect turkeys for need families.

“We’re so appreciative of having the opportunity to get this turkey drive started,” Stu Bartleson said. “That’s what it’s all about.”

“It’s our turkey day,” Jan Bartleson said, noting the much-needed rain falling outside added to the day. “It’s a happy day. This is such as a happy day.”

Foodbank officials noted this is the first significant step in providing 30,000 families in Santa Barbara County with healthy and nutritious holiday meals.

The Thanksgiving Drive continues through Nov. 26 with a goal of collecting 1.4 million pounds of food and 4,000 turkeys or chickens to supply to the county’s neediest residents including families, senior citizens and individuals.

To fulfill the need, the Foodbank also needs to raise $160,000. Wells Fargo, the Thanksgiving Drive sponsor, will provide a $10,000 matching grant to help reach the goal.

Donations of turkeys and chickens are encouraged by Nov. 19. Early donations ensure the Foodbank can distribute the birds to its nonprofit partners, organizers said.

A list of healthy foods sought for donation can be found here.

To contribute of the food drive, healthy food item donations can be dropped off at the Foodbank facilities from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays with extended hours to 5:30 p.m. starting Nov. 18.

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County on Monday kicked off its annual Thanksgiving Drive.

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County on Monday kicked off its annual Thanksgiving Drive.  (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

 

Donations may be made at the Foodbank’s Santa Barbara Warehouse, 4554 Hollister Ave., or the Santa Maria Warehouse, 490 W. Foster Rd.

Additionally, donors may give turkeys via Girl Scouts as Santa Barbara troops will participate in the drive throughout the community.

And, 1 pound of healthy food is the admission price on Nov. 21 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the Hunger Awareness & Nutrition Fair organized by Clare Kelly as her Girl Scout Gold Award Project.

Money also can be donated online here.

For more information or to volunteer during the Holiday Food Drive, visit the Foodbank website or call 805.967.5741.

Foodbank of Santa Barbara County Thanksgiving Drive Begins with 100-Turkey Donation

The Foodbank aims to collect 4,000 turkeys.

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County kicks-off its annual Thanksgiving Drive Monday, Nov. 2, 2015, in Santa Maria, with a generous donation of 100 turkeys, the first significant step in providing healthy and nutritious holiday meals for 30,000 local families in need.

For the 2015 Holiday season, the Foodbank hopes to collect 1.4 million pounds of food (or 1.16 million meals) and 4,000 turkeys or chickens before the drive ends Nov. 26.

To reach these goals and serve 30,000 families, seniors and individuals, the Foodbank also needs to raise $160,000. Wells Fargo, the Thanksgiving Drive sponsor, has provided a $10,000 matching grant to help reach the goal.

The turkey donation marks the tenth consecutive year that Stu and Jan Bartleson have donated turkeys to the annual drive. The Bartleson delivery of 100 frozen turkeys will take place at 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 2 at the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County’s facility at 490 W. Foster Road in Santa Maria.

The Foodbank aims to provide complete meals this holiday season to each family in need. The community can donate healthy food items such as whole grains, vegetarian and animal proteins and fruits and vegetables.

Click here for a complete list of healthy foods to donate.

There are numerous ways to contribute to the Thanksgiving Drive.

» Drop-off food: Healthy and nutritious food drop-offs can be made at the Foodbank facilities 7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. on weekdays with extended hours beginning Nov. 18 to 5:30 p.m.

» Give through a Girl Scout: Local Santa Barbara Girl Scout troops will be participating in the drive throughout the community. In addition, you can sign up to sort produce and shelf-stable food donations and repack them for families in need from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 21 at Clare Kelly’s Hunger Awareness & Nutrition Fair, a Girl Scout Gold Award project.

» Give online: Individuals can also donate funds electronically at http://donate.foodbanksbc.or

The deadline for turkey and chicken donations is Nov. 19. Early donations ensure the Foodbank can distribute these birds to partner nonprofits in time for Thanksgiving.

The Santa Barbara warehouse is located at 4554 Hollister Ave., and the Santa Maria warehouse is located at 490 W. Foster Road.

For more information or to volunteer during the Thanksgiving Drive, please visit Foodbank at foodbanksbc.org or call 805.967.5741.

Kerry Allen represents Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.