Foodbank Saturday Family Days



Every saturday from 9:30 a.m- 11:00 a.m come out and join the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, 4554 Hollister Ave. There are facility tours, volunteer projects, nutrition education, fitness activities, and more. This is part of Kids4Foodbank Club. Reservations are required, and it is FREE! What better way to spend a saturday! To reserve a spot, call 967-5741 or e-mail [email protected]


Hunger in midst of plenty

September 08, 2014 5:20 pm

It seems strange when you look at Santa Barbara County’s sweeping vistas and hillside mansions, but there are a lot of hungry people living among us.

We don’t mean hungry for success, fame or fortune. We’re talking about hungry for food — as in, simply not having enough to eat. And Santa Barbara County has more than its share of people without enough to eat.

Here’s a sobering fact — this county has a greater percentage of its population living with hunger on a day-to-day basis than in the overall U.S. population. Santa Barbara County’s population hovers around 430,000, and it is estimated that just more than 100,000 of those residents don’t have enough to eat.

One in four people living with hunger is not the kind of information local chambers of commerce or tourism organizations would want to publicize.

Yet, the facts are undeniable. Last year, the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County doled out supplies to more than 300 nonprofit organizations, which in turn provided food assistance to more than 100,000 local residents.

A “perfect storm” of events has become almost a cliche, but frankly, that’s what happened with regard to feeding the hungry.

The Great Recession not only cost people their jobs and homes, it also caused those still working to tighten down on expenses. In many households, donating to charitable organizations was relegated to the “not-at-this-time” list. The Foodbank was hit especially hard, as donations of both food and money dropped off as the recession deepened.

Then came California’s drought, which has put even more people out of work, reduced crop yields, thus forcing up prices at the supermarket. The recession may have run its course, but the drought drones on.

Then the U.S. Congress decided to make things worse for America’s down-and-out population by reducing food stamp benefits for nearly 50 million Americans. As usual in recent years, Congress’ poor timing was impeccable.

But Americans are nothing if not resourceful, and despite so many factors working against them, the folks at the Foodbank continue to come through. Last week they received a truckload of produce provided by a consortium of California organizations. It was one of 15 truckloads donated by growers from San Diego to Merced.

Fresh produce is part of the Foodbank’s feed-the-hungry formula, and last year the organization distributed about 4 million pounds of fruits and vegetables. That truckload delivery last week was vitally important, because Foodbank officials say donations so far this year are running about 40-percent below normal.

All of which compels us to ask you — beg, really — to think about the needs of more than 100,000 fellow residents when you’re grocery shopping, or cleaning out a kitchen cupboard that probably contains canned foods you’re likely to never use or need.

The only food the Foodbank can’t accept are home-canned products, cans without labels, candy and soft drinks — the Foodbank is committed to promoting a healthy diet, even when hunger is at issue — and no pet food.

Monetary contributions are also welcome, and the Foodbank’s shoppers are quite adept at turning a $1 donation into a purchase of anywhere from $4 to $7 worth of food, thanks to bulk buying.

It’s easy to help out. You can send a monetary donation to: Foodbank, 490 W. Foster Road, Santa Maria 93455, or drop food donations off at that location. For more information on how you can help, call 937-3422.

It seems like all this shouldn’t be necessary in a land of such plenty — but it is.


Local food bank receives thousands of pounds of fresh produce


Sep 3, 2014 8:49 PM by KSBY Staff

The extreme drought is impacting food banks that help hungry families across the state.

In years past, Santa Barbara County Foodbank officials say a harvest surplus would allow donors to turn in bonus loads of produce, and that’s not happening this year because it’s so dry.

But on Wednesday, a group of Central Valley farmers and businesses sent 12 truckloads of produce to food banks across the state.

Aubrey Bettencourt, Executive Director of California Water Alliance, called it “An effort to meet the increased demand on food banks throughout the state who are struggling to keep up with demands because of the drought crisis.”

The Santa Barbara County Foodbank received 40,000 pounds of peaches, nectarines, plums, and melons.

Local Kids Competing in Triathlon and Fundraising for Foodbank


Alys Martinez, KEYT – KCOY – KKFX Producer/Reporter, [email protected]

POSTED: 10:11 AM PDT Aug 17, 2014 UPDATED: 12:11 PM PDT Aug 17, 2014


Team Jacob


Local kids are making a difference, training for the Santa Barbara Triathlon and raising money for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

17 kids have joined “Team Jacob”. They have spent weeks swimming, biking and running in preparation for the triathlon. The kids have also raised about 18,000 dollars to donate to the Foodbank. Their goal is to raise 50,000.

“Team Jacob” was started by Jacob Mansbach.  He’s spent a lot of his time volunteering at the Foodbank warehouse, delivering food to the community and raising awareness about hunger issues in Santa Barbara County. Helping to feed local children is a cause close to his heart.

One in five kids in Santa Barbara County is at risk of hunger. “Team Jacob” is racing and fundraising in honor of those kids.

If you would like to donate, log on to:

You can also mail a check to the Foodbank: Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, attention Join Jacob, 1525 State Street, Suite 100, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.  Please write “Join Jacob” in the check memo.


Foodbank of Santa Barbara County to Honor Agricultural Community at Third Annual ‘Table of Life’ Gala


Foodbank of Santa Barbara County to Honor Agricultural Community at Third Annual ‘Table of Life’ Gala

Foodbank announces 2014 honorees Chuck and Missy Sheldon and Driscoll’s, with Marybeth Carty and Arlene Montesano as honorary chairs​

cover shot_Table of life gala.jpg
Foodbank of Santa Barbara County will honor Chuck and Missy Sheldon and Driscoll’s at the 3rd Annual Table of Life Gala, on October 5th. Above: Honorees Chuck and Missy Sheldon (center) and representing Driscoll’s (left) Narded Eguiluz, Driscoll’s Distribution Center Manager and Foodbank’s Board of Trustees member; Vanessa Murillo, Driscoll’s Regional Administrative Assistant & Office Manager; and Nelson Medina, Driscoll’s Quality Assurance.

Santa Barbara, CA, August 13, 2014—The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is hosting its third annual Table of Life Gala on October 5th at the Pacifica Graduate Institute’s Lambert Road campus. The 2014 event will honor the agricultural community and those who play a large role in Foodbank’s hunger to health philosophy. The Table of Life Gala fundraiser benefits Foodbank’s “Feed the Future” programs, a series of innovative initiatives that foster nutritional health and independence in children of all ages. This year’s Gala will honor Chuck and Missy Sheldon and Driscoll’s, with Marybeth Carty and Arlene Montesano as Honorary Event Chairs.

The 2014 honorees are examples of how both individuals and large-scale organizations can participate and help better the nutritional food cycle throughout Santa Barbara County. The Sheldon’s are personal and corporate supporters whose participation allows the community access to tens of thousands of tangerines yearly through Backyard Bounty, a tremendous source of the program’s growth. Driscoll’s, long-time supporters and leading global distributors of fresh strawberries, blueberries and blackberries are passionate about contributing to their local community, while working to create a healthier and happier international workforce. With their Sembrando Salud program, Driscoll’s aims to reduce obesity and diabetes in the United States and Mexico by teaching farmers and their families how to live a healthier lifestyle through cooking, awareness and exercise. Through advocates like Driscoll’s and the Sheldon’s, the Foodbank is able to give back to the community in greater and more impactful ways.

Honorary Event Co-Chair, Marybeth Carty has served as the Community Partnership Manager for Venoco, Inc. since 2003, directing the company’s charitable giving and philanthropic outreach and interfacing with over 150 different nonprofit organizations per year. Honorary Event Co-Chair Arlene Montesano, a fashion and restaurant industry entrepreneur is extensively involved with various local philanthropic organizations and has a passion for nutrition, cooking and living a healthy lifestyle. Stephanie Sokolove will be the keynote speaker at the event. Sokolove is an acclaimed chef, restaurateur, and pioneer of the “S ophisticated Comfort Food” movement.

This year’s theme focuses on the major role agricultural plays on both the nutritional and financial health of Santa Barbara County. The Foodbank relies on over a million pounds of donated produce locally as well as bringing in another three million pounds of fruits and vegetables from other California counties.

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County has made fresh produce a focus, with food, education, and community development programs that emphasize fruits, vegetables and good nutrition.

Now in its third year, Feed the Future is Foodbank’s continuum of national award-winning programs aimed at teaching nutritional independence and health in children from infancy to young adulthood. Practicing good health, including the importance of incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables into ones diet, at a young age helps set a standard for lifelong nutritional decisions and advocacy. Additionally, Foodbank’s Backyard Bounty program invites local individuals and families to be part of the farm-to-table movement by donating excess or unwanted produce, which is then repurposed through Foodbank programs. This helps reduce waste, feed those in need as well as create more ways people can get involved with Foodbank and connect with their local community. Last year alone, the Foodbank distributed the food and resources to support 8.5 million meals – half of which was fresh produce.

“The outpour of volunteers, businesses, individuals and others involved in our efforts to provide nourishment to those in need is remarkable and deserves community-wide recognition” says Erik Talkin, CEO of Foodbank Santa Barbara County. “This year’s honorees are examples of how individuals and large-scale organizations can participate and help better the nutritional food cycle throughout Santa Barbara County.”

Additionally, Table of Life guests will learn more about Foodbank’s exciting vision for a nutritionally healthy Santa Barbara while enjoying the unique opportunity to explore the organic gardens and enchanting orchards on Pacifica’s campus. For more information, please visit or contact Diane Durst at 805-967-5741 x 104 or[email protected].

The 2014 Table of Life Sponsors

Fruit of the Earth Champion: Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree. School of Knowledge Sponsors: Armand Hammer Foundation, Mike &Tracy Bollag, Curvature, Chuck & Missy Sheldon, and Stephanie Sokolove. Feed the Future Supporters: Blue Star Parking, CKERestaurants, Bob & Christine Emmons, Sara Miller McCune, Montecito Bank & Trust, Orfalea Foundation, Sage Publications, Michael & Anne Towbes, Venoco, Inc., and Wells Fargo. Feed the Future Friends: Deanna & Jim GP Dehlsen, Allan Ghitterman &Susan Rose, Peter & Martha Karoff, Arlene Montesano, James Nigro, James & Susan Petrovich, Eric & Nina Philips, Katrina Rogers, Peter Sadowski, Richard & Maryan Schall, and Robert &Leslie Zemeckis. Other Contributors: Tom Henderson (who artwork was provided by) and Peter MacDougall.

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 104,500 unduplicated people of whom 44% are children. Last year, the Foodbank distributed the food and resources to support 8.5 million meals – half of which was fresh produce. For more information, visit


The BEET: The Power of Fruits and Vegetables


Fruits and Vegetables in the News

We’ve all seen the news that eating fruits and vegetables helps us in all aspects of our lives. It seems like every day, studies emerge linking fruit and vegetable consumption to overall health and vitality like below:


Nutrition Headlines Graphic


Fruits and Vegetables are linked to reducing your risk of obesity, heart disease, and certain cancers.  They are even linked to improving your optimism and reducing your risk of death!  Is there truth to these claims?  YES!  While some of the statements are exaggerative, the truth is, fruits and vegetables help us in all these areas because they are nutrient dense and low calorie foods that the body needs and craves for optimal health.

Nutrient Dense Foods



When you eat nutrient dense and low calorie foods, like fruits and vegetables, you are maximizing the amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants you eat, while keeping your calorie intake low.

Nutrition Power

Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants help our bodies function properly and achieve optimal wellness. Vitamins and minerals in fruits and vegetables positively affect our metabolism, protein synthesis, brain function…the list goes on and on.

Auntie OxidantAntioxidants act as scavengers in our bodies, traveling through our tissues and cells, to locate the damaging free radicals that seek to harm our cells. These free radicals damage our body’s protein and fat cells, as well as our cellular DNA, increasing our risk for certain cancers and heart disease. Free radicals are unavoidable, as they are formed when we breathe in pollution or smoke, when we are stressed, or when we eat less healthy foods. We need these powerful antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables to confront these war-like free radicals and say “No, not in my body!”

Now think about what this means in terms of weight management and optimism. By eating more nutrient dense and low calorie foods, you are optimizing your health and supplying your body with what it truly needs. You can and should feel proud of yourself for treating yourself in the best possible way. I don’t know about you, but when I eat a fruit or a vegetable, I imagine my body thanking me for nourishing it. I feel healthier immediately, energized, and ready to take on the day. I feel confident that what I have just put in my body will sustain and take care of me. I feel more connected to the earth and what it provides for me, therefore, I have a more optimistic outlook on the day.

Give Peas a Chance

  (I am fully aware of how hippie-like this sounds, but it’s true!!)

Good Nutrition Equals Mental Health

By feeling healthier and more connected, you can tackle depressive moments and pessimistic views. Many studies have linked depression to being overweight or obese. By incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your meals, you are foregoing more calorie “rich” foods laden with starchy carbohydrates and saturated fat which have been shown to increase your risk for obesity as well as weigh you down physically and emotionally.

Vicious Circle

In this vicious circle, overeating unhealthy foods can lead to depression, and depression can lead to overeating unhealthy foods. It’s not science.

Optimistic Circle

 Putting This Into Action

So how do we do this?  Fruits and vegetables have a stigma, one that desperately needs to be eradicated.  As a dietitian, I hear all the time, “fruits and vegetables are expensive…they are hard to prepare…I don’t know how to use them…I know I should eat them, but…”

I don’t want to try and convince you that fruits and vegetables are cheaper than fast food, but if thoughtfully planned out, they can be a very affordable part of your diet, especially if you utilize the produce the Foodbank offers, or if you grow your own.  Fruits and vegetables also are less expensive if you buy them in season, because you don’t have to pay for the cost of transportation as well as other hidden costs.

Fresh Salad PrepAnd they are not hard to prepare!  As long as you have a knife and a cutting board, the time it takes to cut up a lettuce, carrot, cucumber, broccoli, and avocado salad is less than 5 minutes! That’s less time than it takes to go through a drive-through window.  And at the same time, you are breaking this “vicious circle” of poor diet and unhappiness.

I am confident, if you continue to tune into The BEET: All Things Nutrition, you will change the way you think about fruits and vegetables.  They will become staples in your kitchens, the center of your family dining experience, and important components of your everyday health.

Stay tuned for more of The BEET: All Things Nutrition. And make sure to sign up for the Foodbank’s e-mail newsletter to discover great new resources for our entire community.