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foodtweeks™ Finds Partner in Foodbank of Santa Barbara County in Providing Nutritious Ways to End Hunger



STAMFORD, CT – foodtweeks™, a free app that combines weight management with feeding the hungry, announced that the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County in Santa Barbara, CA has joined the ranks of foodtweeks™-affiliated food banks. With the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County reportedly feeding 1 in 4 people in the community, receiving donations from foodtweeks™ will support the food banks ability to provide hunger relief.

Each time a foodtweeks™ user reports “tweeking” (cutting calories from their food), Foodbank of Santa Barbara County will receive donations from foodtweeks™, enabling the food bank to distribute an equal number of nutritious calories to hungry families. Keeping the users satisfied and healthy and providing the same for the struggling families gives users double the benefit.

“Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is excited that foodtweeks has chosen to support us and other food banks nationwide. It’s especially wonderful because foodtweeks inspires healthy eating which is an important part of our mission,” said Erik Talkin, CEO of Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

foodtweeks™ makes it possible for weight-conscious consumers to be “heroes” who serve their communities by feeding the hungry, and all while cutting calories from their favorite foods in an easy, enjoyable way. foodtweeks™ is a product of Walker Health Labs, designers of surprising commercial solutions that also make a difference for big social problems. They have designed a way for users to make an even bigger impact by posting a “tweek” on Facebook or Twitter which doubles or triples each donation.

“foodtweeks™ is proud and excited to support Foodbank of Santa Barbara County,” said Elisa Shannon, foodtweeks™ Executive Vice President of Partnership Development. “ Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is a highly committed and respected organization that provides outstanding service to food-insecure members of our community.”

foodtweeks™ offers a unique approach to weight management. Users simply tell the app what food they are thinking of buying, eating or preparing. The app instantly displays images of suggested “tweeks” that remove enough calories to make a positive difference – but not in a way that changes the taste or leaves users hungry.

foodtweeks™ maintains a crowdsourced picture database of more than 44,000 small changes that show users how to “tweek” everything from a particular brand of cheeseburger at a national restaurant chain to grocery store purchases, and homemade dishes of every kind.

foodtweeks™ is rapidly expanding its partner-base to food banks all across the nation, with more joining each week, said Ms. Shannon, herself a former food bank executive. Food banks that wish to affiliate with foodtweeks™ may contact Ms. Shannon by email at  [email protected].

Jay Walker, the inventor of foodtweeks™, is also the chairman of Patent Properties and curator of TEDMED, the health and medicine edition of the famous TED conference. A noted entrepreneur, Mr. Walker has founded three companies that serve more than 50 million customers. He is best known as the creator of Priceline, which brought a new level of value to the travel industry.



July 21 – Aug 1 Help us win $10,000. Vote once a day!

Are we your favorite cause?366We’re finalists in the KSBY and PG&E “Your Favorite Charity” contest! We could win $10,000 to move our community from hunger to health.

Will you vote for us? Please vote here.


Please vote every day now through August 1st and ask friends to vote, too. Use @FoodbankSB #KSBY and #PGE4ME on social media.

KSBY will announce the winner on August 7.  More details here.

Only YOU can decide: are we “Your Favorite Charity?”

You must be a resident of Santa Barbara County or San Luis Obispo County to participate in the voting contest. Only 1 vote per day per IP address (see contest rules).

Ameriprise Financial Awards $10,000 Grant to Foodbank of Santa Barbara County



By Erin Bushey for Ameriprise Financial | Published on 07.17.2014 1:58 p.m.


Judy Pirkowitsch

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County has been awarded a $10,000 grant by Ameriprise Financial to help feed hungry families in the Santa Barbara area.

Ameriprise selected the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County for the award in support of its mission to solve domestic hunger.

The donation is one of 21 grants Ameriprise recently made to hunger-relief agencies across the country totaling $680,000 — enough to provide more than 5 million meals or feed 1,191 families of four for an entire year.

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County was recommended for the grant by Judy Pirkowitsch, an Ameriprise financial advisor in Santa Barbara.

“Hunger is a serious reality for people in communities across the country, many of whom never expected they’d need help feeding themselves or their families,” Pirkowitsch said. “Ameriprise is committed to supporting nonprofits like the Foodbank because they are dedicated to those struggling with hunger.”

The Foodbank provides nourishment and education through its award-winning programs and a network of more than 300 member nonprofit partners. In Santa Barbara County, one in four people receive food support from the Foodbank. Last year, the Foodbank distributed the food and resources to support 8.5 million meals — half of which was fresh produce.

“Support from organizations like Ameriprise Financial enables the Foodbank to provide resources and tools to end hunger and transform the health of Santa Barbara County,” said Erik Talkin, CEO of the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. “What people are learning and gaining through our health and nutrition programs will benefit them throughout their lives and be passed down for generations to come.”

— Erin Bushey represents Ameriprise Financial.


Free lunch programs available in Lompoc this summer



Angelina Betone, 6, enjoys her lunch at the Boys & Girls Club of Lompoc Valley.

Gianna Cruet [email protected]

As part of its effort to reach out to children in Lompoc, the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is currently offering free, healthy lunches around town this summer.

The Foodbank took over the Summer Food Service Program — called Picnic in the Park — this year when the Lompoc Unified School District was unable to continue it in 2014 due to remodeling efforts, said community programs manager Kyli Gallington. The program is an extension of a national school lunch program put on by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Foodbank started its temporary program in June and will only be filling in for this summer, Gallington said. The program lasts Monday through Friday and will end Aug. 8. The four sites offering free lunches include Anderson Recreation Center, the Boys & Girls Club of America, the Lompoc Family YMCA at La Honda Elementary and Coast Valley Substance Abuse Treatment Center.

One reason the Picnic in the Park program is so important is because Lompoc has the highest percentage of children experiencing food insecurity in the county, Gallington said.

“Food insecurity is looking at, ‘are you able to have enough food to cover a family?’” she said. “Has anyone had to skip a meal because there wasn’t enough food to feed the entire household? It’s higher in Lompoc than anywhere else in the county. That tells us that, as a foodbank, we really need to target Lompoc for all of our children’s programs.”

The lunches are open to the public, and children up to the age of 18 may attend the Picnic in the Park lunches without registration, Gallington said. Several of the sites have seen consistently high numbers in attendance, she said.

“When this opportunity came up, we were more than happy to step in,” she said. “In the absence of (the LUSD), it’s been great to be able to fill that need.”

Another important aspect of the Picnic in the Park program is ensuring that children are provided healthy food, Gallington said.

“We want to make sure good and healthy food is available,” she said. “We want to make sure there’s a good source of food for all the children in Lompoc. We’re happy to be in Lompoc this summer, and we think kids are enjoying the program.”

Through the Orfalea Foundation, the program will also begin offering free food literacy classes for kids this Friday, Gallington said. The Picnic in the Park sessions generally offer both food and site activities, so the class will accompany the program, she said.

Recreation Manager JoAnne Plummer said many children do not have the opportunity to eat nutritious meals when they are out of school, which was one of the reasons the school district started the program.

“A lot (of them) aren’t getting proper nutrition,” Plummer said. “Whether or not they’re having a healthy lunch, or lunch at all, this fills that gap for both.”

For more information about the Picnic in the Park program, call the Anderson Recreation Center at 875-8100 or contact the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County at

Copyright 2014 Lompoc Record. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Santa Barbara County Food Bank deals with produce shortage


Charlie Misra, KSBY News

The drought is affecting nearly everyone and many organizations, including the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. Its clients are getting less fresh produce because of the state’s water shortage.

Since the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is part of the California Association of Food Banks, it receives much of its produce from outside the county.

“There’s basically more demand, which would require more supply, especially for produce, from us,” said Jamie Nichols, Director of Operations. “And we’re struggling to make that happen right now.”

For years, Nichols says donors would turn in bonus loads of produce, because they would regularly experience a surplus in their harvest.

“We’ll source food from places like the San JoaquinValley and a lot of regions that were really hit by the drought,” said Nichols. “Over the past year, we’ve seen a lot of those donations dry up because there’s not as much surplus.”

The organization’s food budget has increased three-fold in the last five years. It now operates on a budget of more than $1 million, which is privately funded.

Nichols says the food bank is so short on produce, that during its free mobile farmers markets, clients only have two produce options to choose from, instead of the usual 8 to 10.

He says the bank can’t take in more frozen produce as an alternative, because it doesn’t have enough freezer space.

“We have a few strategies we’d like to use over the next few years, especially pivoting more local rather than maybe going to other ends of the state that are more affected by the drought,” said Nichols.

Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County CEO Carl Hansen says his operation faces the same problem. Its food budget has also tripled over the last five years to $2.6 million.

For information on how to donate to the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, click here.

For information on how to donate to Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County, click here.

Legal Community Kicking Off Food from the Bar Drive to Benefit Foodbank’s Picnic in the Park Program Santa Barbara & Goleta Local News

The Santa Barbara legal community is pleased to announce the kick-off of its fourth annual Food from the Bar Drive from 5:30 to 7 p.m. this upcoming Tuesday, July 1, at the Intermezzo Bar & Café at 819 Anacapa St.

Food from the Bar is a unique opportunity for legal organizations in Santa Barbara to come together to directly improve the lives of local children. 

During the month of July, the organizations rally to raise $15,000 to benefit the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County’s Picnic in the Park program, which feeds children who qualify to receive free or reduced lunches during the school year

Please help us kick-off the Food from the Bar Drive at Intermezzo, which will generously be donating 25 percent of all proceeds raised from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

All funds raised during the drive go directly to the Foodbank’s Picnic in the Park program to feed children in our county during the summer months. The Foodbank reports that a staggering 84 percent of children in our county who receive free or reduced lunches during the school year go without lunches during the summer. The Picnic in the Park program provides free nutritious meals to these children as part of the USDA Summer Food Service Program. Healthy meals will be served at various parks in the county from Monday through Friday for 10 weeks. The cost per meal is approximately $3.50.

Legal organizations sponsoring the event include the Santa Barbara Women Lawyers & Foundation, Santa Barbara County Bar Association, Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County, County of Santa Barbara Public Defender, County of Santa Barbara District Attorney, Environmental Defense Center, Santa Barbara Barristers, Santa Barbara Paralegal Association, Santa Barbara Legal Secretaries Association, North County Bar Association, and California Rural Legal Assistance.  For the third year in a row, the law firm of Brownstein Hyatt Farber & Schreck is the premiere sponsor of Food from the Bar.  Gold sponsors include Janean Acevedo Daniels, Sanger Swysen & Dunkle, and White Zuckerman Warsavsky Luna Wolf Hunt LLP.  Silver sponsors include Rogers, Sheffield & Campbell LLP, Pacific Western Bank, Tri County Reporters and the Law Office of Saji Gunawardane.

The Food from the Bar Drive will run during the entire month of July. For more information or to make a donation, please click here.


By Flannery Hill for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County | Published on 06.30.2014 3:35 p.m.

— Flannery Hill is a publicist representing the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

July 1 – August 15 Fourth Annual Food from the Bar Food & Funds Drive

Santa Barbara Women Lawyers Sets the Bar High

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Inspired by women lawyer organizations in other cities, Santa Barbara Women Lawyers (SBWL) partnered with the Foodbank for the first annual Food from the Bar food and funds drive in 2011.

“The Foodbank has a proven track record of successfully providing nutritious food to families in Santa Barbara County. We are looking forward to our fourth drive in July, 2014 when we hope to make an even larger contribution to the Foodbank.”

– Santa Barbara Women Lawyers


Visit Easy Fundraising Ideas

This year, Food from the Bar will strive to raise $15,000 and collect 500 lbs. For the second year, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck is the leadership sponsor. Food from the Bar provides the Foodbank with food and funds during the summer months when community giving is low but distribution levels remain high. Thank you to Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck for making a leadership gift to inspire others.

bhfs_logo_llp_rgbSanta Barbara Women Lawyers Board member and Drive co-organizer Jennifer Smith said “It has been another fantastic year. Everyone from the legal community really comes out in force to support the Foodbank. We can’t wait to celebrate with all our supporters once we reach our goal.”

All funds raised during the drive go directly to the Foodbank’s Picnic in the Park program to feed children during the summer months. The Foodbank reports that a staggering 84% of children in our County who receive free or reduced lunches during the school year get nothing in the summer. Through Picnic in the Park, the Foodbank provides free nutritious meals to these children during the summer throughout the County as part of the USDA Summer Food Service Program.  The healthy meals are served at various parks in the county – Monday through Friday from 11:00 – 12:30 for ten weeks during the summer.  The cost per meal is only approximately $3.50.XX

Thanks to our Community Partners for sponsoring Food from the Bar:

Premier Sponsor


Platinum Sponsors

Cappello & Noel Trial Lawyers LogoSanger Swysen & DunkleSBWL logoIntermezzo_Logo

Gold Sponsors

Bamieh & Erickson logoLaw Office of Janean Acevedo DanielsWZWLH logo

buynak-fauver-archbald-spray-llp-logoReickerPfau logo

Silver Sponsors

Hager Dowling Logo North Santa Barbara County Bar Association Logo  PacificWesternBank_vertical_PMS288
Rogers Sheffield & Campbell LLP seedmackall-logo Law Office of Saji D. Gunawardane
 Santa Barbara Women Lawyers’ Foundation Joseph_D_Allen_logo  Tricounty Court Reporters logo


Legal Organization Co-Sponsors

SB County Bar Association Logo CWL Logo
Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County logo DA logo2010 SB Public Defender logo
edc CRLA Logo SBLPA Logo


Statewide Drought Impacts Food Bank Programs

Santa Barbara Community Foundation

Food distribution agencies are experiencing reduced supplies of fresh produce as a result of the statewide drought.

According to the United States Drought Monitor, Santa Barbara County entered a category D-4 Exceptional Drought in February this year. The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is already experiencing the effects of the projected three-year drought in reduced supplies of fresh produce from other counties as well as increasing pressure on the county’s own exports.

“Droughts have long-term implications,” said Erik Talkin, chief executive officer of the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. “We are in the first year of this drought, and we are really looking at two years where it is probably going to get worse before it gets better.”

The Foodbank currently serves 100,000 individuals each year, from preschoolers to seniors. As a result of the drought, the Foodbank estimates that it will spend an extra $100,000 per year on fresh produce. Several foundations are stepping up to help offset these costs. The Santa Barbara Foundation recently provided the Foodbank with a $5,000 emergency grant to purchase staple items not grown in the county, such as onions and sweet potatoes.

Along with its 330 member agencies, the Foodbank distributes more than 4.5 million pounds of fresh produce each year. Approximately one million pounds of that produce comes from Santa Barbara County, while the other 3.5 million pounds comes from other counties in California.

“Produce is no longer just a local issue,” said Erik. “We want to enjoy a balanced variety of produce and to do that, we have to source produce from other counties. Otherwise, we would be eating a narrow diet of broccoli, lettuce, and strawberries.”

One way the Foodbank ensures ongoing distribution of a variety of produce is by collaborating with other food banks within the California Association of Food Banks. The Farm to Family program helps food banks purchase seconds crops – crops that a grower cannot necessarily sell through a store because they are not large or beautiful enough. The food banks pay growers a reduced fee to harvest the crops for distribution.

“It is a very efficient system, but it relies on the product being available,” said Erik. “In a drought situation, product that was not selling before is now selling because there is less product around. That means there is less product to sell to food banks, and we have to pay higher prices.”

Access to fresh produce is critical to the Foodbank’s mission. Recognizing that poor eating habits increase the likelihood of diabetes, obesity, and some cancers, the Foodbank is committed to providing healthy resources for low-income communities and encourages donations of fruits and vegetables rather than canned goods.

“When people help us with money, we are able to turn every dollar into 17 dollars worth of distributed food through co-purchasing with other food banks and getting as much donated food as possible,” said Erik. “We are also encouraging people to donate fresh produce to us. Both of our facilities in Goleta and Santa Maria are equipped to accept donations of fresh produce from individual people. A couple weeks ago, we had someone bring us 10 lettuces. He had grown a row for himself and one for the food bank. That is a really effective way of helping.”

To learn more about supporting the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, please visit or call (805) 967-5741.