Organization seeks donations to help ensure needy families have Thanksgiving meal
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.
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.