Author Archives: Jessica D

Santa Barbara County Foodbank’s Growing Clientele

Santa Maria Times
December 16, 2014
Web

http://santamariatimes.com/news/local/santa-barbara-county-foodbank-uncovers-information-about-growing-clientele/article_eb97aad9-4e1a-5477-bc53-6c3a804851cd.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

SMtimes

Santa Barbara County Foodbank uncovers information about growing clientele

Many working families made tough choices in Santa Barbara County to make ends meet and ensure there was food on the table over the past year, according to the Hunger in America 2014 study released by the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County and Feeding America.

Of the 140,575 residents served by the foodbank, more than 70 percent of households reported having to choose between paying for food and paying for utilities or transportation in the past 12 months. The same struggle was seen in 60 percent of client households that had to choose between food and medicine or medical care during the same period.

“In Santa Barbara County, faces of food insecurity and hunger may not stand out from the crowd, but the poverty of working families, and the day-to-day trade-offs that the study brought to light are alarming,” said foodbank CEO Erik Talkin. “It’s hard to imagine facing the choice between your family going hungry or being able to pay for the transportation you need to get to your job, or the housing you need to shelter your family.”

These struggles have led more than 70 percent of households served by the foodbank to adopt three or more strategies to stretch their food budgets.

These game plans could involve eating food past its expiration date, buying cheap and unhealthy food in lieu of healthier options, growing food in gardens or selling personal items to pay for groceries. Families may also dilute foods and drinks to make them last longer.

 “The Hunger in America 2014 findings demonstrate the urgent need for all of us to address hunger in our communities,” said Feeding America CEO Bob Aiken, whose organization is the nation’s largest hunger-relief agency. One of those findings was that 35 percent of clients had not signed up for SNAP benefits, also known as food stamps. In Santa Barbara County, those benefits fall under CalFresh, and county staff pointed to a number of reasons why people do not apply for benefits for which they may be qualified. They may worry about their immigration status, assume it would be difficult to apply or stay enrolled in programs and assume they are not eligible, according to Dennis Tivey in the county social service department.

“The Hunger in America 2014 findings demonstrate the urgent need for all of us to address hunger in our communities,” said Feeding America CEO Bob Aiken, whose organization is the nation’s largest hunger-relief agency. One of those findings was that 35 percent of clients had not signed up for SNAP benefits, also known as food stamps. In Santa Barbara County, those benefits fall under CalFresh, and county staff pointed to a number of reasons why people do not apply for benefits for which they may be qualified. They may worry about their immigration status, assume it would be difficult to apply or stay enrolled in programs and assume they are not eligible, according to Dennis Tivey in the county social service department.

Hunger is an especially timely topic in Santa Barbara County where about a quarter of the population sought out food assistance in 2013. Of those clients, 49,729 were children and 21,750 were 60 years or older.

“The number of people being served continues to grow,” said Judy Monte, development manager at the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. “So, we know that we need to help not just give a man a fish, so to speak, but teach him to fish.”

Food insecurity has stressed many areas of families’ lives over the past year, with 52 percent of client households having had to choose between buying food and paying rent or the mortgage at least once along with other struggles.

With this information and the other data available in the 2014 report, the foodbank plans to strengthen its community impact efforts, which focus on the affect the foodbank is having and can have on hunger in communities around the county. It also plans to develop its Food Action Plan, which will lead to a more sustainable food system in the future.

“Foodbanks used to talk in pounds of food, and some still do,” said Bonnie Campbell, foodbank director of community impact. “We don’t use that language anymore. We talk about meals, how we can get them out there and how we can shorten the line.”

Santa Barbara County Foodbank’s Growing Clientele

Lompoc Record
December 16, 2014
Newspaper, pg. A2, A4

http://lompocrecord.com/santamaria/news/local/santa-barbara-county-foodbank-uncovers-information-about-growing-clientele/article_38bd83d7-dbae-5064-954c-56c569c54470.html

lompoc record

Santa Barbara County Foodbank uncovers information about growing clientele

Many working families made tough choices in Santa Barbara County to make ends meet and ensure there was food on the table over the past year, according to the Hunger in America 2014 study released by the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County and Feeding America.

Of the 140,575 residents served by the foodbank, more than 70 percent of households reported having to choose between paying for food and paying for utilities or transportation in the past 12 months. The same struggle was seen in 60 percent of client households that had to choose between food and medicine or medical care during the same period.

“In Santa Barbara County, faces of food insecurity and hunger may not stand out from the crowd, but the poverty of working families, and the day-to-day trade-offs that the study brought to light are alarming,” said foodbank CEO Erik Talkin. “It’s hard to imagine facing the choice between your family going hungry or being able to pay for the transportation you need to get to your job, or the housing you need to shelter your family.”

These struggles have led more than 70 percent of households served by the foodbank to adopt three or more strategies to stretch their food budgets.

 These game plans could involve eating food past its expiration date, buying cheap and unhealthy food in lieu of healthier options, growing food in gardens or selling personal items to pay for groceries. Families may also dilute foods and drinks to make them last longer.

“The Hunger in America 2014 findings demonstrate the urgent need for all of us to address hunger in our communities,” said Feeding America CEO Bob Aiken, whose organization is the nation’s largest hunger-relief agency. One of those findings was that 35 percent of clients had not signed up for SNAP benefits, also known as food stamps. In Santa Barbara County, those benefits fall under CalFresh, and county staff pointed to a number of reasons why people do not apply for benefits for which they may be qualified. They may worry about their immigration status, assume it would be difficult to apply or stay enrolled in programs and assume they are not eligible, according to Dennis Tivey in the county social service department.

Hunger is an especially timely topic in Santa Barbara County where about a quarter of the population sought out food assistance in 2013. Of those clients, 49,729 were children and 21,750 were 60 years or older.

“The number of people being served continues to grow,” said Judy Monte, development manager at the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. “So, we know that we need to help not just give a man a fish, so to speak, but teach him to fish.”

Food insecurity has stressed many areas of families’ lives over the past year, with 52 percent of client households having had to choose between buying food and paying rent or the mortgage at least once along with other struggles.

With this information and the other data available in the 2014 report, the foodbank plans to strengthen its community impact efforts, which focus on the affect the foodbank is having and can have on hunger in communities around the county. It also plans to develop its Food Action Plan, which will lead to a more sustainable food system in the future.

“Foodbanks used to talk in pounds of food, and some still do,” said Bonnie Campbell, foodbank director of community impact. “We don’t use that language anymore. We talk about meals, how we can get them out there and how we can shorten the line.”

Dec 13 – The Old Town Orcutt Parade

Our friends at the Orcutt LC Community Foundation, Inc. have chosen the Foodbank as nonprofit beneficiary of the parade on December 13, 2014.

2014 Poster website

For over half a century, the Old Town Orcutt Christmas Parade has demonstrated the very best of small town spirit and community involvement – it is truly an old-fashioned community event and continues to remain deeply rooted in tradition. Participants represent local groups, organizations and businesses; you’ll see small floats and marching bands, kids on tricycles and ladies on Vespas. Best of all, Santa always makes his appearance!

Begun and managed by the Orcutt Volunteer Fire Department until it was disbanded/absorbed into the Santa Barbara County Fire Dept. in 2008, the Parade is now managed by the volunteers of the Orcutt LC Community Foundation, Inc. The Foundation has partnered with the International Association of Lions Clubs through the participation of the local Orcutt Lions Club, who meet at the “Lions Den” at 126 S. Broadway, located between the Union 76 Station and “Jack’s” Restaurant. The Lions of District 4-A3, stretching from Ventura county through San Luis Obispo county, are represented by the Old Town Parade.

The Parade starts promptly at noon on the second Saturday in December (rain or shine!), beginning on South Broadway before turning east onto Clark Avenue, and continuing all the way to Twitchell Street. Parade viewers quickly fill both sides of these streets so be sure to grab a spot early!

Parade visitors are encouraged to support the Foodbank by bringing non-perishable items to donate along the parade route!

Face of Hunger in SBC Revealed in New Feeding America Report

Noozhawk
December 12, 2014
Web

http://www.noozhawk.com/article/face_of_hunger_in_santa_barbara_county_revealed_in_feeding_america_report

image002

Unknown-1

Face of Hunger in Santa Barbara County Revealed in New Feeding America Report

Published on 12.12.2014 8:08 a.m.

Over 70 percent of local households seeking food assistance from the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County’s network have to choose between paying for food and other necessities such as utilities and transportation, according to the Hunger in America 2014 report for Santa Barbara County.

Working families countywide are making other tough trade-offs between food and housing, medicines and education opportunities. The recent study was conducted by the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County in partnership with Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief organization. The study supports and confirms statistics collected by the Foodbank on the number of people served and amount of food distributed by the organization. The Feeding America data provides an understanding of the economic circumstances and the factors that those relying on Foodbank encounter.

Nationally, Hunger in America 2014 found that more than 46 million people turn to agencies and programs of the Feeding America network of food banks every year. The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County has had over a decade of partnership as a member of the Feeding America network.

The study documents household demographics and offers a snapshot of the people served by the Foodbank — their circumstances, the challenges they face and the choices they are forced to make living on extremely limited household incomes. It is also the first nationally-representative study that assesses the prevalence of past and current members of the U.S. military and adult students receiving charitable food assistance.

“In Santa Barbara County, the faces of food insecurity and hunger may not stand out from the crowd, but the poverty of working families, and the day to day trade-offs that the study brought to light are alarming,” said Erik Talkin, Foodbank’s CEO. “It’s hard to imagine facing the choice between your family going hungry or being able to pay for the transportation you need to get to your job, or the housing you need to shelter your family. No one in our community should have to face even small everyday trade-offs, like our neighbors who must feed expired or watered down food to their families or else go hungry. As we approach the holidays, these are shocking findings but ones that strengthen our resolve to help our neighbors move from hunger to health which improves our community in far-reaching ways.”

“The Hunger in America 2014 findings demonstrate the urgent need for all of us to address hunger in our communities,” said Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding America. “This data provides a factual basis for decisions about how we as a nation approach hunger relief and protect our most vulnerable citizens.”

Key statistics from the report include:

Widespread Use of Food Assistance

» The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County last year, served 140,575 people — over 25 percent of the local population, including 49,729 children (0-17 years old) and 21,750 seniors (60 years or older).

» A full 35 percent of Foodbank participants are children under age 18.

» Among all clients, 3 percent are black/African American, 65 percent percent are Latino and 38 percent are white.

» 17 percent of households include someone who is a veteran or who has ever served in the military, and 39 percent of those households include someone who is currently serving in the military.

» The Foodbank distributed 9.3 million pounds of food (over 50 percent was fresh produce), through its nine direct-to-client programs for children, families and seniors at 100 sites countywide, and through its network of over 330 member nonprofit partners.

» Last year, 600 volunteers contributed over 20,146 hours of their valuable time and service to make Foodbank’s services possible.

Making Tough Choices and Trade-Offs to Keep Food on the Table

Following are the choices client households reported making in the past 12 months:

» An estimated 71 percent of households reported using three or more coping strategies for getting enough food in the past 12 months.

» These trade-offs included: eating food past its expiration date, purchasing inexpensive, unhealthy food because they could not afford healthier options, growing food in a garden, pawning or selling personal property, and watering down food or drinks.

» 70 percent report choosing between paying for food and paying for utilities.

» 74 percent report making choices between paying for food and paying for transportation.

» 52 percent of households chose between paying for food and paying their rent or mortgage at least once in the past 12 months.

» An estimated 38 percent of client households currently receive SNAP benefits, while an estimated 35 percent of client households neither currently receive SNAP nor have ever applied for SNAP benefits.

Clients Struggling with Health Issues

» 60 percent of households reported having to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care at least once in the past 12 months.

» 21 percent of households include a member with diabetes.

» 49 percent of households have a member with high blood pressure.

Low Wages, Underemployment and Unemployment Driving Need

» 64 percent of client households have annual incomes under $10,000

» An estimated 55 percent of households have a household member who had worked for pay in the past year.

» In 65 percent of client households the most-employed person from the past 12 months is currently out of work.

» An estimated 87 percent of households reside in non-temporary housing, such as a house or an apartment. An estimated 20 percent of respondents have experienced a foreclosure or eviction in the past five years.

» 4,425, or 3 percent of families are homeless.

Hunger in America 2014 was conducted using rigorous academic research standards and was peer reviewed by a technical advisory team including researchers from American University, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and the Urban Institute. Nationally, confidential responses were collected on electronic tablets by 6,000 trained data collectors, majority of whom were volunteers. The study was funded by The Howard G. Buffett Foundation.

A summary of the findings is available by clicking here. The full national report is available on Feeding America’s website atHunger in America 2014 by clicking here.

Meet Amy, The Pear Princess

Santa Barbara’s youngest foodies “FLIP” for good nutrition in Foodbank’s
Food Literacy in Preschool Program at Storyteller Children’s Center

AmyFour-year-old Amy is a self proclaimed fan of pears. She loves learning about fruits and vegetables, and especially enjoys participating in fun activities like making recipes with her family using fresh produce from Foodbank’s Food Literacy in Preschool (FLIP) program. FLIP serves a dual purpose: delivering short-term food assistance and providing nutrition education.

Amy is one of the 24 preschoolers (plus 20 toddlers) who attend Storyteller Children’s Center, a childcare center for homeless and at-risk children from 18 months to 5 years of age.

Every month, she looks forward to Foodbank’s FLIP program held at Storyteller.

“I liked making apple juice and apple spirals last time and today’s pear smoothie is yummy,” said Amy.

On a recent Thursday, as crisp fall fruits come into season, the kids at Storyteller received a hands-on lesson in crafting a healthy pear snack.

Gathered around a munchkin-sized table, the kids eagerly descended on the bounty of fresh, local Comice pears – sourced and delivered by Foodbank.

The boisterous class grew quiet in concentration as Amy and her classmates, with help from Storyteller teacher Maria Lopez and Foodbank’s Community Nutrition Program Coordinator Erin reading to kids[3]Erin Hansen, began earnestly slicing the fruit using kid-friendly tools. The hubbub swelled again as the dozen Lilliputian chefs continued mixing and blending the ingredients – pears, bananas, orange juice, vanilla yogurt and ice cubes – to complete today’s recipe, joyfully dubbed “Pear-adise Smoothies.”

“It’s so important for us to empower kids to make nutritious choices and learn about the diversity of nutritious foods from a young age,” said Erin Hansen. “Incorporating healthy foods into their lives early, increases their ability to become healthy adults.”

This is one of the few times during the month Amy gets this type of exposure to fresh fruits and vegetables. Amy is one of nearly 50,000 local children who are provided with nutritious food and education through Foodbank direct programs or Foodbank’s 330+ nonprofit partners like Storyteller. Many families in Amy’s situation wish they could eat more fruits and vegetables, but might not initially buy them on their own because of the expense. And 71% of families served by the Foodbank must make heartbreaking choices of buying food or paying for housing, utilities, transportation, clothing and other basic necessities.

After each month’s FLIP lesson the children get to take home a bag of the featured produce to their families. FLIP is the first step in Foodbank’s “Feed the Future” continuum of programs, and helps drive one of the Foodbank’s key strategies: to reach families in our communities through their children. Kids bring their new-found knowledge – and in the case of FLIP, the fresh produce – back to their families, inspiring families to come together to try out new recipes and eat more nutritiously.

“We see that our kids are a tremendous influence on their families, said Rob Grayson Development Director for Storyteller. “This is especially so when they are excited about a fun new recipe they’ve learned and want to show their parents and siblings how to make it. The whole family gets to incorporate a healthy new meal or snack into their regular diet.”

FLIP is currently offered at six school-based, preschool and early childcare centers throughout Santa Barbara County.

“It’s a great partnership working with Foodbank,” said Grayson. “For our kids, the meals they get here are often times the most well-rounded and nutritious meals they get in a day, and FLIP also creates this opportunity to stretch this vital health resource into a lifetime of healthy choices.”

“Storyteller is committed to transforming the lives of some of our most vulnerable families by providing children the earliest start to break through generational cycles of poverty,” said Erik Talkin, CEO of Foodbank. “It is an honor to work side by side as we, too, provide tools to help families break through cycles of poor nutrition to create a healthy future for all.”

Locally, Foodbank of Santa Barbara County serves 144,000 low-income, below federal poverty level individuals in Santa Barbara County (one if four of our total population), many of them working families, children and seniors. For more information about FLIP and other Foodbank programs, visit www.foodbanksbc.org.

Research: Food Action Plan

LoaCom
December 10, 2014
E-newsletter

http://us4.campaign-archive2.com/?u=bb6f74402a27e42173af18f0e&id=3ba9784109&e=0fdbf3e5c2

securedownload

Research:

Food Action Plan: Similar to our 2013 agriculture policy report for the Environmental Defense Center, LoaCom is working on behalf of the Community Environmental Council and Food Bank of SB County on the creation of a Food Action Plan for the region. 

Dec 9 – Messiah Sing Along

34th Annual Messiah Sing Along

When: Tuesday, December 9 at 7:30 PM
Where: First Presbyterian Church (corner of State & Constance)

TICKETS ON SALE at Chaucer’s Bookstore (Loreta Plaza)
and Granada Books (1224 State Street)

Price: $10

There will be a full orchestra,
with Phil McLendon (Conductor) and Jim Mooy (Orchestra Director).

Tickets and scores available at the door, the evening of the event.