Foodbank Receives $150K Grants from Walmart Foundation

Foodbank’s new Grocery Rescue van will make an appearance at the upcoming event.

Foodbank’s new Grocery Rescue van will make an appearance at the upcoming event.  (Foodbank of Santa Barbara County photo)

On Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016, the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County will hold an event to acknowledge multiple grants awarded by the Walmart Foundation.

Walmart Foundation grants help build a food secure community and provide needed equipment to assist in the effort.

City of Santa Maria Mayor Alice Patino, County of Santa Barbara elected officials, the Foodbank’s board of directors and Walmart executives will attend the event.

The Foodbank has been awarded grants totaling more than $150,000 to help fund their “Building a Food Secure Community” project, enroll low income families in the SNAP program and increase their infrastructure with the purchase of a refrigerated van.

Additional support through food donations and volunteer support will also be recognized.

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation provide donations of both food and funds to Feeding America and its nationwide member network of 200 food banks, including the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

These grants align with Walmart’s commitment to create a more sustainable food system, including a goal of providing four billion meals to those in need in the US over the next five years.

With food insecurity remaining high throughout the country, the ability to distribute more food is critical for food banks.

According to the USDA, about 49 million people, including 16 million children, in the United States are food insecure, which means at some point during the year, they won’t know where their next meal will come from.

In Santa Barbara County, one out of four people receive some level of services from the Foodbank.

“These funds are significant in the effort to build a food secure community, reaching youth, families and the community at large,” said Erik Talkin, CEO of Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. “The Foodbank acknowledges the Walmart Foundation for their recognition and support of these critical programs.”

The money awarded to Foodbank will go a long way in helping to fund 2016 programs, including expanding the organization’s food literacy programs, distributing produce to local families in need and ensuring that the community has access to a reliable source of produce year-round.

The event will be held at the Foodbank’s Santa Maria Warehouse, and it will also highlight the newly purchased Grocery Rescue van.

Foodbank of Santa Barbara County aims to  transform health by eliminating hunger and food insecurity through good nutrition and food literacy.