Tag Archives: Foodbank of Santa Barbara County

Face of Hunger in SBC Revealed in New Feeding America Report

December 12, 2014




Face of Hunger in Santa Barbara County Revealed in New Feeding America Report

Published on 12.12.2014 8:08 a.m.

Over 70 percent of local households seeking food assistance from the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County’s network have to choose between paying for food and other necessities such as utilities and transportation, according to the Hunger in America 2014 report for Santa Barbara County.

Working families countywide are making other tough trade-offs between food and housing, medicines and education opportunities. The recent study was conducted by the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County in partnership with Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief organization. The study supports and confirms statistics collected by the Foodbank on the number of people served and amount of food distributed by the organization. The Feeding America data provides an understanding of the economic circumstances and the factors that those relying on Foodbank encounter.

Nationally, Hunger in America 2014 found that more than 46 million people turn to agencies and programs of the Feeding America network of food banks every year. The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County has had over a decade of partnership as a member of the Feeding America network.

The study documents household demographics and offers a snapshot of the people served by the Foodbank — their circumstances, the challenges they face and the choices they are forced to make living on extremely limited household incomes. It is also the first nationally-representative study that assesses the prevalence of past and current members of the U.S. military and adult students receiving charitable food assistance.

“In Santa Barbara County, the faces of food insecurity and hunger may not stand out from the crowd, but the poverty of working families, and the day to day trade-offs that the study brought to light are alarming,” said Erik Talkin, Foodbank’s CEO. “It’s hard to imagine facing the choice between your family going hungry or being able to pay for the transportation you need to get to your job, or the housing you need to shelter your family. No one in our community should have to face even small everyday trade-offs, like our neighbors who must feed expired or watered down food to their families or else go hungry. As we approach the holidays, these are shocking findings but ones that strengthen our resolve to help our neighbors move from hunger to health which improves our community in far-reaching ways.”

“The Hunger in America 2014 findings demonstrate the urgent need for all of us to address hunger in our communities,” said Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding America. “This data provides a factual basis for decisions about how we as a nation approach hunger relief and protect our most vulnerable citizens.”

Key statistics from the report include:

Widespread Use of Food Assistance

» The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County last year, served 140,575 people — over 25 percent of the local population, including 49,729 children (0-17 years old) and 21,750 seniors (60 years or older).

» A full 35 percent of Foodbank participants are children under age 18.

» Among all clients, 3 percent are black/African American, 65 percent percent are Latino and 38 percent are white.

» 17 percent of households include someone who is a veteran or who has ever served in the military, and 39 percent of those households include someone who is currently serving in the military.

» The Foodbank distributed 9.3 million pounds of food (over 50 percent was fresh produce), through its nine direct-to-client programs for children, families and seniors at 100 sites countywide, and through its network of over 330 member nonprofit partners.

» Last year, 600 volunteers contributed over 20,146 hours of their valuable time and service to make Foodbank’s services possible.

Making Tough Choices and Trade-Offs to Keep Food on the Table

Following are the choices client households reported making in the past 12 months:

» An estimated 71 percent of households reported using three or more coping strategies for getting enough food in the past 12 months.

» These trade-offs included: eating food past its expiration date, purchasing inexpensive, unhealthy food because they could not afford healthier options, growing food in a garden, pawning or selling personal property, and watering down food or drinks.

» 70 percent report choosing between paying for food and paying for utilities.

» 74 percent report making choices between paying for food and paying for transportation.

» According to imbrex.io/ 52 percent of households chose between paying for food and paying their rent or mortgage at least once in the past 12 months.

» An estimated 38 percent of client households currently receive SNAP benefits, while an estimated 35 percent of client households neither currently receive SNAP nor have ever applied for SNAP benefits.

Clients Struggling with Health Issues

» 60 percent of households reported having to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care at least once in the past 12 months.

» 21 percent of households include a member with diabetes.

» 49 percent of households have a member with high blood pressure.

Low Wages, Underemployment and Unemployment Driving Need

» 64 percent of client households have annual incomes under $10,000

» An estimated 55 percent of households have a household member who had worked for pay in the past year.

» In 65 percent of client households the most-employed person from the past 12 months is currently out of work.

» An estimated 87 percent of households reside in non-temporary housing, such as a house or an apartment. An estimated 20 percent of respondents have experienced a foreclosure or eviction in the past five years.

» 4,425, or 3 percent of families are homeless.

Hunger in America 2014 was conducted using rigorous academic research standards and was peer reviewed by a technical advisory team including researchers from American University, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and the Urban Institute. Nationally, confidential responses were collected on electronic tablets by 6,000 trained data collectors, majority of whom were volunteers. The study was funded by The Howard G. Buffett Foundation.

A summary of the findings is available by clicking here. The full national report is available on Feeding America’s website atHunger in America 2014 by clicking here.


Mac’s Holiday Turkey Pies Help the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County

December 9, 2014



Mac’s Holiday Turkey Pies Help the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County

A donation from each pie sold in December will support food for the needy

John Palminteri, KEYT – KCOY – KKFX Senior Reporter



SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Buying a traditional holiday pie this month will help feed those in need as well.

Mac’s Fish and Chip Shop in Santa Barbara is now making pies that are like a complete turkey dinner.

Each one is loaded with mixed vegetables, roasted turkey, stuffing and topped with parsnip mashed potatoes.

They cost $7.50 each with $5.00 of that going directly to theFoodbank of Santa Barbara County.

Owner Grant MacNaughton says it’s “deceptively filling.”   Each pie weighs in at over a pound, “and it contains everything I associate with a Thanksgiving meal here in the U.S. or a Christmas meal back in London,” he said.

The Foodbank’s Misha Karbelnig says, “It ties in well with our focus on health. The pie has some much delicious produce in it. Half of what we put out last year had fresh produce in it.  It is a unique opportunity to showcase what we do and how Mac’s and others are huge supporters of us.”

The holiday pies can be enjoyed at the restaurant, and  also taken cooked or uncooked – to go – for home parties.
Mac’s is at 503 State St. near Haley.


Vaqueros Hosts Youth Baseball Camp

Ed Hat
December 4, 2014



Vaqueros Hosts Youth Baseball Camp
updated: Dec 04, 2014, 3:00 PM

About 30 Santa Barbara youth, ages 8 to 12, turned out at Pershing Park on Saturday, November 29 to sharpen their baseball skills while helping families in need of food during the holiday season.

Six members of the SBCC Vaqueros Baseball team were on hand to coach the free youth baseball camp. The entry fee was a donation of one — or several — items of food for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. More than 500 pounds of non-perishable food was received.

“This was a great day of teaching baseball while helping families in need,” said Vaquero Head Coach Jeff Walker. “Our athletes consistently demonstrate tremendous heart and commitment, not only on the playing field but to the community as well.”

Photo IDs 1. Vaquero Jack Gregson shakes hands with Oliver Kelly. 2. Three of the youth baseball camp participants proudly show off their canned food donations.

About Santa Barbara City College: Founded in 1909, Santa Barbara City College currently serves approximately 25,000 students each semester who enroll in courses for transfer preparation, career education, and foundational skills and an additional 4,500 enroll in lifelong learning classes. In 2013, SBCC was named national co-winner of the prestigious Aspen Institute Prize for Community College Excellence. The college was recognized for its quality and focus in four areas: facilitating underrepresented and minority student success, student learning outcomes, degree completion and transfer rates, and labor market success in securing good jobs after college.

Our Mission: As a public community college dedicated to the success of each student…Santa Barbara City College provides students a diverse learning environment that inspires curiosity and discovery, promotes global responsibility and fosters opportunity for all.

1 - Gregson and Kelly

2 - Food Cans


Local Spotlight: The Foreigner


December 4, 2014





Local Spotlight: The Foreigner

The Foreigner is in Santa Maria, not a person, but a favorite comedy of professional and community theatres.

As part of the show’s run, organizers at the Santa Maria Civic Theatre are encouraging people to bring non-perishable food items to the show to donate to the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

The show runs every Friday and Saturday evening through December 13, with a final show on Sunday afternoon, December 14.


Hollister Canned Food Drive returns

Santa Barbara Beer

December 2, 2014




Hollister Canned Food Drive returns

Posted on December 2, 2014

Note: the following was received via email from Hollister Brewing Company. It is reposted here, as this is a great community service event that will get you a discount at one of our county’s best brewpubs.

Please Help Feed Santa Barbara’s Hungry this Holiday Season With Hollister Brewing Company  

HBC is happy to announce its 5th Annual Food Drive to benefit the local community in partnership with Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. December 8-10 we are offering a 20% discount* to every customer who donates one of the following items at Hollister Brewing Company:

Peanut Butter
Canned Fruit or Vegetables
Canned Fish or Meat
Coffee, Tea or Juice

*Discount applicable per person per donated food item.  Multiple donations per table/bill accepted. Discount not available in conjunction with any other HBC promotion or discount. Not applicable on gift card purchases. 


Foodbank Updates Website with Interactive Tools and Resources for Entire Community


November 27th, 2014





Foodbank Updates Website with Interactive Tools and Resources for Entire Community


Foodbank of Santa Barbara County CEO Erik Talkin enjoys a little fun with daughter Mia at the Foodbank’s Santa Barbara warehouse. The Foodbank’s latest post on its new blog, “The BEET,” speaks with Talkin about his family’s Thanksgiving traditions. (Foodbank of Santa Barbara County photo)

By Candice Tang Nyholt for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County | Published on 11.27.2014 7:45 a.m

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is pleased to announce the launch of its new and improved website, featuring a growing collection of interactive tools and resources for the entire community.

Highlights of the new website include the Foodbank’s new blog, “The BEET: All Things Nutrition,” making the Foodbank’s award-winning nutrition education approach accessible to the entire community, and the Foodbank Guide to Nutrition Programs in an interactive map of countywide hunger-relief and resources.

“Access to good nutrition is fundamental to making healthy food choices and to good health, and our goal is for our website now to become a key access point for these resources,” said Erik Talkin, CEO of Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. “While Foodbank is the hub for food assistance and for nutrition education for local working families and others in need, we are also the hub for nutrition resources for everyone in our community.”

‘The BEET: All Things Nutrition Blog’

Authored by Erin Hansen, RDN, the Foodbank’s community nutrition coordinator, “The BEET” provides readers with access to nutrition news, “Myth Busters,” healthy recipes, guest expert interviews and other tools to incorporate nutrition into their families’ daily lives.

With nutrition credentials, Hansen provides sound, science based nutrition information to the community in a fun and “digestible” way. The BEET publishes throughout the month and features interviews with restaurant chefs, farmers, nutrition professionals, and health and wellness innovators. The BEET Myth Busters combats nutrition fallacies; and The BEET Recipes shares healthy recipes from Foodbank programs that utilize our local bounty of fruits and vegetables.

This week’s blog includes an interview with Talkin about his own family’s Thanksgiving traditions. Click here to subscribe to The BEET.

Guide to Nutrition

Also new to the website is Foodbank’s Guide to Nutrition Programs. This interactive feature assists organizations countywide to assist those facing hunger and poor nutrition through interactive maps highlighting hunger-relief and nutrition resources throughout the county.

Community Partners

The Foodbank’s Community Partners section highlights the organization’s network of over 330 nonprofit partners throughout Santa Barbara County. With the structuring of Foodbank’s Community Impact Department, Foodbank has evolved from just supplying nonprofit partners with food for their programs and running direct-to-client programs to filling gaps in key unserved nutritional and educational needs.

Viewing food banks now as public health organizations working to keep people healthy and nutritionally independent, Foodbank is also using new public health evaluation tools to measure the effect of these interventions in the community. In 2013, 144,000 unduplicated individuals were provided with nourishment and education through Foodbank’s award-winning programs and its network of over 330 social service programs and agencies, churches and community groups from Carpinteria to Santa Maria.

About Foodbank Santa Barbara County

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is transforming health by eliminating hunger and food insecurity through good nutrition and food literacy. The Foodbank provides nourishment and education through its award-winning programs and a network of over 330 member non-profit partners. In Santa Barbara County, one in four people receive food support from the Foodbank; over 144,000 unduplicated people of whom nearly 40 percent are children. Last year, the Foodbank distributed 9.3 million pounds of food — half of which was fresh produce.

Click here for more information.

— Candice Tang Nyholt is a publicist representing the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.