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 or call 805.967.5741.

Kerry Allen represents Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.