Monthly Archives: April 2014

Santa Maria’s local food bank faces a fresh produce shortage


The following article was posted on April 23rd, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun – Volume 15, Issue 7


The walk-in cooler at the Food Bank of Santa Barbara County’s Santa Maria facility is filling up slower and moving produce out faster than it has in the past.

This is partially attributable to environmental factors like the drought, Jamie Nichols, food bank director of operations, told the Sun after an April 16 press conference. Farmers’ yields are lower because of the lack of rain, as well as state water delivery issues. Nichols said lower yields up the pressure farmers feel to make their harvests stretch. Those things that characterize a fruit or vegetable as not good enough for grocery store shelves—blemishes and shape—don’t apply this year.

All of those factors add up to the food bank simply not getting produce delivered like it used to.

Nichols said the food bank used to get regularly delivered truckloads of stone fruit, tomatoes, and melons—often for free.

“Those supplies have just been cut off,” Nichols said. “That’s not happening anymore.”
Food Bank Chief Executive Officer Erik Talkin said during the press briefing that produce is in shorter supply and more expensive than it has been in years past. Talkin added that fresh produce is a huge part of the Food Bank’s mission; it’s a necessary part of the food literacy programs offered by the organization, as well as for the health of the people they serve.

“We can’t just switch to frozen or canned vegetables,” Talkin said.

He explained that 55 percent of the Food Bank’s product is fresh produce that’s either bought or donated. Usually, it costs the organization about $1 million a year to bring it in, this year it will cost an additional $200,000.

During the press conference, Nichols said that although the U.S. Department of Agriculture is allocating some emergency funds for programs like the Santa Barbara’s Food Bank, that will only cover 15 percent of the organizations that need it.

“We’re going to need help securing fresh produce,” Nichols said. “It’s important we secure the funds and resources we’re going to need to sustain it.”


Central Coast residents to lend a helping hand Saturday

10 hours ago  •  Erin Lennon /

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County will get some welcome donations and assistance Saturday as part of this year’s Central Coast Helping Hands event, which will send volunteers to a number of projects in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.

Volunteers will collect and sort food donations as well as paint the Santa BarbaraCounty food bank’s 100 collection barrels and repackage bulk foods, from 8:30 a.m. to noon at St. JosephHigh School in Orcutt. Food can also be dropped off and sorted at ArroyoGrandeHigh School.

“The great thing about what’s happening this Saturday is that people will have a venue to come out and help, especially during the drought,” said Darlene Chavez, community leadership manager for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. “We’re not getting as many donations of fresh produce, and that kind of pinches our wallet a bit.”

As California’s drought continues to drive up produce prices, the food bank’s expenses are expected to increase by $200,000, making it tougher to provide for its clients and its more than 300 nonprofit partners. The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County served more than 100,000 people last year, providing food assistance to one in four county residents.

Helping Hands has also partnered with the San Luis ObispoCounty food bank and the 5 Cities Homeless Coalition.

“Even if people can’t stay and help us sort or do other projects, if they can just drop off food, that’s great too,” said Darren Hulstine, president of the Santa Maria California Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Hulstine’s group has hosted the Central Coast Helping Hands event for about eight years.

Organizers have scheduled a number of other projects to keep community volunteers busy both nearby and in San Luis ObispoCounty. Those interested can help with repairs at St. Joseph’s High School, the DunesCenter and the Historic Jail in Guadalupe. Organizers will also send volunteers over to the AbelMaldonadoCommunityYouthCenter to take part in Serve Santa Maria Day, an annual day of local community service.

In San Luis ObispoCounty, participants can help with landscaping and maintenance projects at the Arroyo Grande Women’s Shelter and the ArroyoGrandeCommunityGardens.

For more information, visit or call 714-2901.


Sponsor Share Your Lunch 2014



sponsorship benefits $5,000 – $10,000 level*

  • Social Media postings as leadership sponsor throughout campaign
  • Press Release as leadership sponsor – to countywide media contacts
  • Website – Home page under Mark Your Calendar
  • Logo on event page with quote and link
  • Logo on printed material for Share Your Lunch campaign
  • Listing on corporate sponsorship page for 1 year
  • eNewsletter acknowledgement with link to website
  • Invitation to annual Donor Reception
  • Team-Building Volunteer Activities
  • Site visit to a children’s summer program

*Your donation will be used as a challenge grant to the community. For more information, contact Misha Karbelnig, (805) 967-5741 x 119 . It’s a great recognition opportunity.

sponsorship benefits $2,500 – $4,999 level

  • Social Media thank you postings (at start and conclusion)
  • Mentioning in press Release – to countywide media contacts
  • Logo on event page with link
  • eNewsletter acknowledgement
  • Invitation to annual Donor Reception
  • Team-Building Volunteer Activities
  • Site visit to a children’s summer program

sponsorship benefits $1,000 – $2,499 level

  • Social Media thank you postings (at start and conclusion)
  • Name on event page
  • eNewsletter acknowledgement
  • Invitation to annual Donor Reception

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Foodbank of Santa Barbara County receives donation

By Kathrene Herndon, KSBY News


updated 4/17/2014 7:15:54 PM ET

A promotion late last year is benefiting the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

A check for more than $2,000 will be presented to the organization Thursday night from Santa Barbara Gift Baskets.

The company held a gift basket promotion last December with a portion of the proceeds going to the Food Bank.

Organizers say the Food Bank can purchase $17 worth of food for every $1 donated.


Dry conditions impacting Food Bank

FB_KSBY_Drought Link to video:
April 17, 2014 by KSBY Staff

The Santa Barbara County Food Bank says the dry conditions have a negative impact on its services to help the hungry.

The Food Bank works with the state agency Farm to Family to purchase fresh produce for families who can’t afford food.

Officials say due to the drought, the cost to buy produce through the program has gone up.

Local farmers are also having a hard time being able to donate money or food.

The Food Bank says you can help by donating more than just canned and dried goods.

You can drop off fresh produce you purchase or even grow it in your garden.


Santa Barbara Gift Baskets Donating Proceeds of Holiday Promotion to Foodbank

POSTED ON 04.16.2014 11:38 A.M.


Santa Barbara Gift Baskets will present a check for more than $2,000 to the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County on Thursday at the Foodbank’s Multi Chamber Mega Mixer.

The donation stems from a promotion Santa Barbara Gift Baskets launched in December, featuring a gift basket filled with local gourmet foods.

Twenty five dollars from the sale of each $125 gift basket was collected for donation to the Foodbank to use toward its mission to eliminate hunger by providing food, education and other resources to a network of hunger-relief charities in Santa Barbara County.

Each Foodbank Holiday Gift Basket included a card that informed the recipient that their gift consisted of not only the delicious treats nestled inside, but also a donation of $25 to the Foodbank.

According to the Foodbank, for every $1 it receives as a donation, it is able to purchase $17 worth of food. That translates to $425 worth of food per gift basket purchased, and more than $35,000 for the entire donation.

The Foodbank was not the only organization benefiting from the sale of the basket. Fourteen local businesses were represented among the gourmet contents. Every dollar spent on the Foodbank Holiday Gift Basket stayed right here in Santa Barbara County, supporting the local economy as well as its most needy residents.

Several local businesses chose to send the Foodbank Holiday Gift Basket as their client appreciation gift this year, including Heritage Oaks Bank, Best Western of Carpinteria, and Penfield & Smith Engineers.

“We chose the Foodbank Holiday Gift Basket this year to share a taste of the wonderful local items with some of our clients, both near and far, as well as to do something good for our community,” said Julie Miller of Penfield & Smith. “Supporting local business and giving back is integral to building and maintaining great communities like Santa Barbara. We are proud to have been a part of it.”

The Foodbank Multi Chamber Mega Mixer will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Foodbank warehouse at 4554 Hollister Ave. Members and guests of the following Chambers of Commerce will participate in this free networking event: Santa Barbara Region, Goleta Valley, Carpinteria, Buellton, Solvang, Lompoc, Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo and the Santa Barbara Hispanic Chamber.

Some of the local food purveyors included Santa Barbara Pistachios, Santa Barbara Biscotti, La Tolteca Tortilla Factory, Santa Barbara Olive Co., Pacific Pickle Works, Shalhoob Meat Co., Jessica Foster Chocolates, Goodland Chai, Ocean Ranch Organics, Burst Marshmallows, San Marcos Farms, Caribbean Coffee, the Santa Barbara Bar and Santa Barbara Gourmet Popcorn. The basket also included a copy of Edible Santa Barbara Magazine.

— Anne Pazier represents Santa Barbara Gift Baskets.


Drought Squeezing Local Foodbanks

Foodbanks are paying more for higher demand staple crops.

Keith Carls, KCOY Central Coast News Reporter,

POSTED: 05:14 PM PDT Apr 16, 2014 UPDATED: 10:27 AM PDT Apr 17, 2014

Drought Squeezing Local Foodbanks

Link to Video:


The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County helps those who need help putting food on the table.

“The majority of people who we serve are working”, Foodbank of Santa Barbara County CEO Eric Talkin told reporters at the Foodbank warehouse in Santa Maria,  “often people think that the Foodbank provides to homeless people, really they are only about 8 percent of who we serve, the rest are people that are trying to get a job or who are working, so it’s a very challenging environment and people are trying to survive and stay healthy.”

The immediate impact of the ongoing drought in California is starting to be felt throughout the state including front line social safety network agencies like Foodbanks.

“The drought is already having a serious affect on our ability to afford and provide fresh produce to hungry people and to our member network of 300-plus programs and agencies in the county”, Talkin says.

Foodbanks are now having to compete with others in the food industry for staple crops like onions, potatoes, carrots and corn that are down in production due to the drought.

“The largest growing sector is children and youth services”, says Jamie Nichols of the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, “now these are local Boys and Girls Clubs, local YMCA’s, these are programs that are increasingly requesting and wanting more and more produce so this demand for produce goes up with our member agencies our supply is becoming harder and harder to secure both within the county and throughout the state.”

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County welcomes donations of fresh produce.

But it says cash donations are what’s really needed to help it weather the tough economic climate of the ongoing drought.


Foodbank SB presents its first Multi-Chamber Mega-Mixer!

Please join us and the following Chambers for this free networking event for members of any and all of these participating Chambers:

Santa Maria
San Luis Obispo
Santa Barbara Hispanic Chamber

Join us for great door prizes, delicious food and drinks. A phenomenal networking event! Don’t miss it. It’s a party!!

Register on Eventbrite:

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