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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.

Foodbank of Santa Barbara County Kicks off nutritional program

nbc By KSBY Staff updated 6/13/2014 12:17:05 PM

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County kicked off one of its nutritional programs Thursday that’s aimed at kids. It’s called Picnic in the Park. About 300 kids enjoyed a healthy lunch Thursday at Grogan Park in Santa Maria. The program provides nutritious lunches and physical activities throughout summer when kids are out of school. “Picnic in the park is one example of how we are working with the community to make sure that children are not hungry and families are being served,” says Bonnie Campbell with the Foodbank. The Foodbank expects to provide 38,000 meals to 2,000 kids this summer.

John Herzog trains youth triathletes raising money for Foodbank

presidio sports

June 13, 2014 by Christina Markos 0 Comments

john-and-jake2_triathleteVolunteer of the Month John Herzog with Kids4Foodbank team-founder Jacob Mansbach.
Thanks to volunteer coach John Herzog, the Kids4Foodbank Triathlon Team will be well-prepared for this summer’s Santa Barbara Triathlon.

The youth triathlon team is getting training tips from the Ironman athlete to help with their effort of raising money for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

Herzog, a member of the Santa Barbara Triathlon Club,   fully supports the team’s efforts. He is someone who truly believes and knows from his experience that people really can accomplish any goal they set for themselves. He believes that the minute one decides to replace the “I can’t” with “I can”, it truly changes one’s life and can become a catalyst on the path to empowerment, realizing one’s true capabilities and finding their inner drive and confidence.

Herzog initially became involved in triathlons when he was working at the Santa Barbara Athletic Club and Cathedral Oaks Athletic Club as Director of Sales. Being a sponsor of the Santa Barbara Triathlon, the club received five free entries, and Herzog was challenged to compete.

There was only one problem — he didn’t know how to swim one length in a pool without having to rest. He decided to replace “I can’t” with “I can”.

While running track in high school, Herzog was a sprinter and never thought he could be an endurance athlete. But he began to take swim lessons at the athletic club, he borrowed a bike from a friend and tackled the challenges that had always prevented him from endurance athletics. He had bad lower leg pain and decided to discuss it with a trainer at the club. The trainer made one minor tweak and it changed everything. He was able to continue training and completed the race. After completing the race, Herzog was fired up and hooked.

“What an amazing experience, so many new things opened up for me,” he remembers.

Herzog immediately signed up and began training for the next local race, the Carpinteria Triathlon. He then went on to complete several Olympic distance races and three half-Ironman races before deciding to compete in first Ironman. His first Ironman was in Tempe, Arizona and he did so well he decided to do another Ironman in Canada.

Some of his favorite parts of training were: honoring his commitment to his word, the transformative nature of the sport, and the number of beautiful sunrises he witnessed on those days that he started his bike rides and runs in the dark hours of the morning.

“When training and waking up so early, you are tired. Your body is tired, and the drive is intermittent and fluctuates. Nine times out of ten, it comes down to the commitment to honor your word. When you commit to something it is a sacred moment. You don’t know how you are going to get there and transform along the way.” He relates, “They say a rising tide raises all boats. One great thing about the structure and the integrity of training, is how it affects the other areas of your life. It’s amazing what happens when you ‘just do it’.”

With his background and training knowledge, he is very excited and honored to be the Kids4Foodbank Triathlon Team Coach. Herzog was competing in the Santa Barbara Triathlon sprint event in 2011 when he met Jacob for the first time. Jacob and his father, Mike Mansbach were participating in the parent-child event of the Santa Barbara Triathlon. Herzog, who worked with the elder Mansbach, overheard Jacob and his dad chatting about Jacob wanting to finish the triathlon and then play in the sand. He was struck by Jacob’s energy and spirit. Jacob has gone on to compete in 10 triathlons to date and in many of them, Herzog has been there to cheer Jacob on after finishing his own event.

In 2012, the Santa Barbara Triathlon partnered with the Foodbank as a fundraising beneficiary. Jacob and his family had volunteered at the Foodbank warehouse and Jacob began to understand the impact he could make by giving to people in his community. Jacob raised over $4,600 for the Foodbank that first year, and last year he and a friend raised almost $13,000. Jacob has created a team of kids this year with the shared goals of completing the Santa Barbara Triathlon sprint course and raising $25,000 to support the Foodbank in providing nourishment and nutrition education resources for a network of over 330 local non-profit partners.

When Herzog found out Jacob’s next endeavor was to raise money for charity while encouraging others to get involved in triathlons he wasn’t surprised, “Being for other people, not just yourself, is a key value in the Mansbach family.”

jacob triathlete 0
Triathlete and team founder Jacob Mansbach.

This year, with the help of Herzog, the team will grow and inspire other families to get involved.

“John is an awesome person,” said Jacob. “He is fun and inspiring and knows everything about this sport!”

Herzog will be mentoring the kids on all things Triathlon: Equipment, Health & Nutrition, Preparation, Training and Guidance.

“The goal is to have people prepared and confident. Some people love to run, some love to bike, some love to swim, not everyone feels confident doing all three, and everyone has a different end goal,” Herzog explains. “We will talk about transitions, from swim-to-bike, bike-to-run, the finish line photo moment, and the larger perspective of really taking it all in, being present in the moments that matter.”

This is a great experience for kids, they get to set a goal, challenge themselves, learn to train,  all while promoting and fundraising for a wonderful cause. Herzog recounts, “Whatever you choose to put into practice, having your work win over your circumstances, the more confident and empowered you begin to feel.”

The Ironman slogan rings true, “Anything is possible.”

 Kids4Foodbank Triathlon Team

This month Presidio Sports is honoring John Herzog
and his work with Jacob Mansbach and the Kids4Foodbank
Triathlon Team here in Santa Barbara. The Kids4Foodbank
Triathlon Team is looking for kids ages 7-18 to join the
team that will be competing the 2014 Santa Barbara
Triathlon sprint course. They will race to raise funds
to support the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.
Herzog will be the team’s training coach.

Feeling inspired to join the team?

What you will need:

-Running shoes, bike, wetsuit (optional but a good idea)
-Positive energy to set and achieve your goal!
-They are more than happy to help you find gear to use.
-Contact Jennifer Mansbach at [email protected]