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Noozhawk: Hungry Crowd Shows Up For Lompoc Empty Bowls Fundraiser

A rainy day provided the perfect setting Wednesday for soup-seeking attendees at the Lompoc Empty Bowls event. The 13th annual benefit for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County drew hundreds of people to the Dick DeWees Community & Senior Center on West Ocean Avenue. Assorted restaurants and other organizations provided gourmet soups served in hand-painted bowls, with bread and water making up the remainder of the simple meal.

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Hunger Relief Champion 2015: Bonipak Packaging Co.

Last year, Bonipak donated approximately 17,000 meals to the Foodbank, and their donations have supported partners like the Salvation Army, Good Samaritan Shelter and Santa Ynez Elementary School. Bonipak’s donations have including popular items like Artichokes, Bok Choy, and Celery, and have added nutrition and variety to the menu of our County’s non-profit organizations. Bonipak has been growing and distributing fresh produce in the Santa Maria valley for almost 90 years, and their “seed to sale” program allows them to optimize quality, quantity, and timing within the produce market. The Foodbank is proud to have their support!

Tom Minetti, Alain Pincot, Jamie Nichols from Foodbank , Rob Ferini, Craig Reade and Mitch Ardantz

Donated Items: Assorted Cut Vegetables

Programs Supported: Kids Farmers Markets

Meals Donated: 16,678

For more information on Bonipak Packaging Co., head to their website here.

Hunger-Relief Champion 2015: Hollandia Produce

With generations of experience growing in greenhouses the Hollandia family of farms in Carpinteria are an amazing partner to the Foodbank. For over 15 years Hollandia has been donating beautiful living lettuce year round which helps us keep up with demand for fresh produce even in the winter. Hollandia has committed to providing lettuce to our Kids Farmers Market program which focuses on reaching families in low income areas. Kids and parents alike love getting a still living plant to take home and harvest themselves! We are thankful to have the support of a Hunger-Relief Champion like Hollandia.

Hollandia 2015 Hunger Champion

Donor for 15 years

Programs Supported: Kids Farmers Markets

Meals Donated 38,995

For more information on Hollandia Produce, head to their website here.

Hunger Relief Champion 2015: Jordano’s

Jordano’s work has been selling food in Santa Barbara County for over 100 years and has become one of the largest distributors of food in community. We are very thankful for the decades of support from Jordano’s who has donated a wide range of high-quality produce, dairy products and frozen foods. We are so thankful for a partner like Jordano’s to help fight hunger in Santa Barbara County.

Jordanos 6-2016

Donor Since: Decades!

Donated Items: Assorted Produce, Dairy and Frozen Foods

Meals Donated 63,328

For more information on Jordano’s, head to their website here.

Hunger Relief Champion 2015: Innovative Produce

George and Debbie Adams (former Foodbank Board member) of Innovative Produce are hard working farmers and supporters of the Foodbank. Innovative Produce grows organic and conventional broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce in the Santa Maria Valley. They have also been instrumental in our Pick and Pack program, where their harvest crews field sort cosmetically damaged product into reusable produce totes supplied by the Foodbank. They have also donated two fields of romaine to our Backyard Bounty gleaning program. A Hunger Relief Champion that lives up to its name, Innovative Produce continues to work creatively to end hunger in our community.

 You can tell roots are deep in Santa Barbara County from the 120 year old wooden door behind Foodbank SBC COO Jamie Nichols and George receiving his Hunger Relief Champion certificate!

You can tell roots are deep in Santa Barbara County from the 120 year old wooden door behind Foodbank SBC COO Jamie Nichols and George receiving his Hunger Relief Champion certificate!

Donor Since: 2013

Donated Items: Broccoli, Lettuce, Cauliflower

Programs Supported: Former Board Member, Backyard Bounty, Food Action Plan, Pick & Pack

Meals Donated: 110,243

For more information on Innovative Produce sales, head to their website here.

Hunger Relief Champion 2015: Apio Produce Sales

Apio Produce was established in the Santa Maria Valley in 1979 and has grown to be a major grower, packer and distributer of vegetables. Their support of our Kids Farmer’s Markets program with seasonal produce has ensured that our kids grow up loving fresh vegetables. These nutrition education events are hosted at afterschool programs across the county, and they provide children with fresh, seasonal produce and healthy recipes. “Apio has a great passion for vegetables and the nutritional benefits they provide. At times we experience inventory surpluses or oversupply during the harvesting of crops. As it is our mission to ensure that nothing goes to waste, we are proud to be partners with the Foodbank. This relationship allows us to deliver fresh vegetables locally and a be a strong contributor to the health and wellness of the community.” Sparky Locke – Apio Vice President of Western Operations

Ron Midyett, Landec COO , Alexa Senter - Foodbank, Sparky Locke - Apio Vice President of Western Operations, Andrew Fernandez - Apio Vice President of Procurement

Ron Midyett, Landec COO , Alexa Senter – Foodbank, Sparky Locke – Apio Vice President of Western Operations, Andrew Fernandez – Apio Vice President of Procurement

Donor Since: Over 10 years

Donated Items: Assorted Cut Vegetables

Programs Supported: Apio Produce Sales’ contributions directly impact our Kids Farmers Markets Program.

Meals Donated: 134,680

For more information on Apio Produce sales, head to their website here.

Hunger Relief Champion 2015 – Driscoll’s

Driscoll’s has been farming in Santa Maria since the 1940’s and has been donating to the Foodbank for decades. They big beautiful strawberries are highlighted every spring throughout Kids Farmer’s Market program which encourages kids to love seasonal fruits and vegetables. Narded Eguiluz, District Manager for Driscoll’s, is a key member of the Foodbank Board and is part of the Santa Barbara County Food Action Plan Advisory Committee. The support of Hunger Relief Champions like Driscoll’s is key to providing good nutrition for all in Santa Barbara County.

Donor Since: Over 20 years

Donated Items: Berries

Programs Supported: Driscoll’s supports our Kids Farmers Market and is a Current Board Member.

Meals Donated: 173,565

For more information on Driscoll’s, head to their website here.