Wal-Mart Foundation shows support for Foodbank of Santa Barbara County

Santa Maria Mayor Alice Patino, representatives of Foodbank of Santa Barbara County’s board of directors and members of Wal-Mart’s local and corporate management gathered Wednesday at the Foodbank’s Santa Maria warehouse to celebrate the funding support of the Wal-Mart Foundation.

“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 Wal-Mart Foundation for their recognition and support of these critical programs.”

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 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, and to purchase a refrigerated van.

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

One in four people in the county receive some level of services from the Foodbank.

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