Category: News

Partners Summit at Pacifica Graduate Institute

Keynote speaker and honorable first district supervisor Salud Carbajal discussed the quality of our food distribution system, what it means when you eat “bad” food, and more at the Partner’s Summit at the Pacifica Graduate Institute on September 24th.

Highlights from Salud Carbajal’s speech:
“Simply put, bad food is bad for our health, bad for our environment, and  bad for our economy.”

“The question is- if we don’t find a way to improve coordination between the public, nonprofit and private sectors to change the quality of our food distribution system, what will the cost be in our future- in both lives lost and economic impacts?”

“On October 24, the 4th annual Family Day & Health Fair we will join Santa Barbara Open Streets Calles Vivas for the first time- bringing the Health Fair to this huge festival which promotes healthy living and activity by transforming Cabrillo Bvld. into a car free zone full of walking, rolling, dancing, skateboarding and many more healthy activities. We will focus on promoting access to medical care and having a medical home, and friendly, bilingual and culturally relevant education on why healthy eating and having an active, healthy family lifestyle is an important (and fun) form of preventative health care. When all families and individuals in our community are healthy, the community as a whole is a stronger and healthier place to live!”

“I believe, as the data shows, having a healthy food system is not just a public policy issue, it is a moral issue.  The most disadvantaged in our community are disproportionately affected by the current system since they have limited resources, opportunities and choices for healthy alternatives.”

Erik Talkin, the Foodbank’s CEO also presented, as well as Erin Hansen, Foodbank’s Community Nutrition Coordinator. All sessions at the event discussed nutrition education, advocacy, fundraising, data analysis, CalFresh, and more.

We are thrilled that so many of our partners collaborated and enjoyed the event! If we work together, we can reach our goal of ending hunger in Santa Barbara County.

Summit1 Summit2 Summit3 Summit4 Summit5 Summit6




Without the access to free and reduced school lunches, summer is the hungriest time of year for many children. The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County set out to end this with its monthlong campaign, End Summer Hunger. The goal was to raise $50,000 to go towards the Picnic in the Park Program, a country-wide program that provides children under 18 with free, nutritious meals when school is not in session, regardless of their parents’ income. Thanks to a generous anonymous pledge, Picnic in the Park surpassed its goal by $25,000, raising a grand total of $75,000.

Picnic in the Park was a huge success this summer, providing 23,000 lunches so far, and continuing to do so through the end of August. “When school lets out for the summer, children still have a need for good nutrition,” says Erik Talkin, CEO of Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. “In fact, only 16% of children in our county, who receive free or reduced-priced lunches during the school year, receive any meal assistance during the summer.”

To donate and get involved, visit the End Summer Hunger website or to find locations where lunches will be served text SUMMERFOOD to 877-877. For more information, visit the Santa Barbara County Foodbank website.

View the article here.

Noozhawk: With $75,000 in Donations, Foodbank Aims to Close Summer Hunger Gap

Foodbank of Santa Barbara County raised $75,000 during “End Summer Hunger,” its month-long campaign to raise $50,000 to help feed the most at-risk school-age children during the summer months.

Thanks to a generous anonymous pledge, the community responded and the campaign surpassed its goal by $25,000.

Campaign funding will support the Foodbank’s county-wide Picnic in the Park program, which provides free, healthy lunches to ensure that all children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session.

There are no income requirements and any child 18 and under is welcome to receive lunch. Picnic in the Park to date for summer 2015 has served 23,000 lunches and will continue until the end of August.

For many children who receive free and reduced-priced meals at school, summer can mean hunger. The “End Summer Hunger” campaign, which ran June 1–30, is crucial in both closing the summer hunger gap in Santa Barbara County and promoting wellness and healthy eating during summer months.

“When school lets out for the summer, children still have a need for good nutrition,” said Erik Talkin, CEO of Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. “In fact, only 16 percent of children in our County, who receive free or reduced-priced lunches during the school year receive any meal assistance during the summer.”

Children comprise 35 percent of the people the Foodbank serves. In our County, 34,000 children who receive free or reduced-priced lunches during the school year don’t receive any meal assistance during the summer, a time of critical brain development.

To support these children, the Picnic in the Park program provides over 35,000 nutritious meals for 2,500 local low-income children during the summer (over 900 meals per day throughout Santa Barbara County).

On a typical day, Picnic in the Park serves children from many diverse backgrounds including five-year-old David, who loves spiderman and comes to have lunch with his babysitter, Carmela, who takes care of more than six kids everyday from different working families.

And Maria, a soon-to-be fifth grader, says her favorite part of Picnic in the Park is playing with her friends—she also loves when the lunches include Goldfish crackers.

To donate and get involved, visit or to find locations where lunches will be served text SUMMERFOOD to 877-877 or visit Find a Lunch.

End Summer Hunger leadership-level sponsors include: Aera Energy and Santa Barbara Women Lawyers’ Food from the Bar Drive, as well as generous support from Citrix, Chevron, Hazelwood Allied Moving and Storage, Mentor, Oniracom, Sodexo, KCRW, Subway, Vita Travel Store and FLIR Systems.

Read original article here.

KEYT: Local Foodbank Launches Campaign to End Summer Hunger

School is almost out for the summer. For many kids that means, vacations and time at the beach. For some children, summer means hunger pains from lack of food.

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County has launched a new campaign to end summer hunger.

One in five kids are at risk of hunger in Santa Barbara. Foodbank volunteer Jennifer Mansbach says summer months are critical for thousands of children. She said, “84% of children who receive food assistance during the school year will not be getting that assistance over the summer. So there is a really big need.”

Mansbach organizes a monthly “Family Philanthropy Volunteer Day” at the Foodbank where volunteers sort fresh produce and put together community food donations.

The volunteers are also supporting the Foodbank’s launch of the “Share Your Lunch” campaign. Throughout the month of May, people are urged to share their lunch with a child, or a senior, in the community. Mansbach said, “You can make a donation of the amount of one day’s lunch, one week’s lunch or any amount that you want to make. The idea is to raise 50 thousand dollars to help deliver the food to the kids in need here in Santa Barbara.”

There’s also a big social media push to raise awareness. Foodbank encourages anyone who wants to help inspire others to make a difference to take a photo of their own lunch at home, work or a local restaurant, then share it on Facebook, or Twitter using the hashtag #ShareYourLunch.

Mansbach says she hopes people can help spread the message about childhood hunger in the community. Mansbach says she can’t imagine her own children having to skip a meal. She said, “I actually tear up.  I think it’s just absolutely unacceptable. I think that in an intelligent society and a caring society, everybody should be able to have food. That is just a simple, simple rule.”

View the original article here.

April 9 – Foxen Canyon Wineries Hold Food Drive

Foxen Canyon Wineries Hold Food Drive For County Food Bank

From Los Olivos to the Santa Maria Valley, the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail stretches for miles, and in hopes of bringing in more customers the wineries, they are holding a special event.

Tim Snider, of Fess Parker Winery, said, “What we’re trying to do is build awareness again for all these great wineries that are out here and at the same time help the less fortunate
in the community.”

The trail is holding a food drive for the Santa Barbara County Food Bank and those who donate will get something to sip on return.

“They can come on out bring two cans of food and get a complementary wine tasting,”
said Snider.

The Foxen Canyon wineries have done a food drive before, but this time they are
trying to go bigger.

John Tevis, of Foxen, Winery said, “We did a little bit of one last year during Christmas time, but it was just a few wineries. Now we’ve got all the wineries on board and we’re really
taking it to the next level.”

Over a dozen wineries are participating in the drive, which last through April 22, and since it started during March they have already seen the donations rolling in.

“It’s been really well received so far and we are excited about it,” explained Tevis.

The wine trail is hoping this event will bring more people into their tasting rooms,
but most importantly giving back.

The group is planning on holding the drive again next year and is hopeful this event
will be a win-win for everyone.

Participating Wineries Include:

Kenneth Volk
Cambria Estate
Cottonwood Canyon
Tres Hermanas
Rancho Sisquoc
Martian Ranch
Fess Parker Winery
Zaca Mesa

PRESS: KEYT FoodBank CEO Winds Down Food Security Challenge



The FoodBank CEO is winding down his Food Security Challenge where he has lived on less than $6.50 a day for February.

At lunchtime on Tuesday, Erik Talkin made food at home instead of grabbing a quick bite to eat.

During his challenge, he’s allotted only $6.46 per day. That’s the amount of money a person on food stamps would get.

He has limited funds and can’t be picky about vegetables.

“It used to be that if something didn’t look nice, I’d throw it away and not give it a second thought. But now, it’s ‘Oh, I’ve made a big investment in that piece of broccoli. Do I really want to throw it away?'” Talkin said.

Read the full article here.


#TalkinHunger: Live Tweet Chat with Erik Talkin & Dr. John LaPuma


As a part of the Food Security Challenge, Erik Talkin (Foodbank SBC’s CEO) and Dr. John LaPuma participated in a Live Tweet Chat, #TalkinHunger, Food Security, health, nutrition, SNAP, low-income families, and more.

The conversation was lively and robust! Take a look at some of the highlights below.


Be sure to keep following Erik as he heads into his last week of the Food Security Challenge next week on Twitter and on his blog.

Want to know how you can participate for the last week? Download the Food Security Challenge Toolkit here or donate online to Foodbank here.


Food Justice at the Forefront

By Shelly Leachman and Alec Rosenberg,
UC Santa Barbara and UC Newsroom
Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Shouldn’t food be a right, not a privilege? And what is the difference between being fed and being nourished?

With a central theme of food justice, such subjects were explored during the three-day, inaugural California Higher Education Food Summit held Jan. 16-18 at UC Santa Barbara. Founded by a multicampus team of University of California staff and students, the first-of-its-kind conference is part of the ongoing UC Global Food Initiative.

The gathering convened some 150 students, staff and faculty from UC, California State University and community college campuses, and community and food agency leaders at large, to dissect and discuss the environmental, social and economic pressures that create barriers to food access, security and justice.

“All too often, the struggle students face in accessing affordable, nutritious food is marginalized,” said Katie Freeze, student chair of UCSB’s Associated Students Food Bank, which helped organize the conference. “Bringing these issues to light will enable the UC community to better address student hunger.”

And beyond.

In a wide-ranging and rousing talk addressing the “complexity and significance of food justice,” keynote speaker Nikki Silvestri said, “When we talk about justice, we are actually talking about everyone, from beginning to end.

“Locate yourself in the fight for food justice,” urged Silvestri, a noted thought leader in creating social equity and former executive director of People’s Grocery in Oakland. “Who are you? Who are your people and what is your fight? And allow yourself to be surprised by the answer.”

Silvestri’s keynote talk and a panel discussion at the summit were part of UC’s Food Equity Lecture Series, sponsored by the UC Global Food Initiative.

Increasing food security

For Colin King, a fifth-year student at UC San Diego, the fight centers on food access for college students who are struggling with hunger. Working with his campus’s Associated Students staff, King is part of the team launching UCSD’s first food pantry.

“Nourishment costs more than simply feeding yourself,” said King, who got involved after witnessing a friend fall on hard times. “He was sleeping in his car and couldn’t afford food. Seeing what he went through is what inspired me initially. Coming to this conference has been so valuable for gaining a better understanding of food insecurity UC-wide, and for the tangible things we’ve learned to take home with us, to make our own pantry and food insecurity initiatives the best that they can be.”

A similar hope coursed through the conference on behalf of the broader UC Global Food Initiative (UCGFI), which is designed to coordinate resources systemwide to help ensure adequate nutrition — starting with access to food — for all. Unveiled by UC President Janet Napolitano in July, the UCGFI is working to harness the UC’s collective excellence in research, outreach and operations in a sustained effort to develop, demonstrate and export solutions — throughout California, the U.S. and the world — for food security, health and sustainability.

“There’s a lot of enthusiasm and extremely bright people who want to see changes that will improve people’s health on our campuses, in our community and beyond,” said Joanna Ory, a graduate student at UC Santa Cruz and among the recently selected UCGFI fellows in attendance at the summit. “It’s a really important issue and great to see so many people who care.”

Making a difference

More than two dozen workshops held over the course of the conference tackled subjects from culinary medicine to new models for student dining, the health implications of food insecurity and the role of higher ed in the greater food system. There also were presentations on the “Swipes for the Homeless” program that UCSB and UCLA have adapted to aid food-insecure students, how to build partnerships between university campuses and local farms, and the transformational potential of campus gardens. UCGFI projects include efforts to assess food security for UC students in order to better design programs and outreach efforts focused on addressing these issues.

“Hunger is a prominent thing on college campuses,” said panelist and UC Student Regent Sadia Saifuddin of UC Berkeley, who co-leads a UCGFI working group on food pantries and food security. “Ideally, we want to eradicate hunger, but we’re not there yet. These conversations are important.”

Fortino Morales helped bring a community garden to UC Riverside while a student there. Now he staffs it as UC Riverside community garden coordinator.

The food summit “opens your mind about what’s going on other campuses and what’s possible,” Morales said. “It’s exciting that food access and equity are at the center of this conference. There is a lot of interest in food justice.”

Spreading nourishment

At UC Davis, students learn to grow produce sustainably at the student farm and sell it for use in campus dining halls or through subscription market baskets in the community. A new program collects some of what’s left — surplus, blemished or odd-shaped produce — and makes it available at the student-run food pantry.

“It’s all local. It’s all organic. The students love it. The feedback is terrific,” said Misbah Husain, UC Davis food pantry director of internal operations.

UCGFI fellow Alyssa Billys, of UC Santa Cruz, is working to help coordinate the amount of produce from the student farm that is sold to campus dining.

“We have the farm right here,” Billys said of her campus. “Why can’t we access that (produce)? Having good brought to you by students, for students, is really empowering.”

Empowerment was the prevailing spirit of the first-ever summit.

“We define food justice as communities exercising their right to grow, sell and eat healthy food that is fresh, nutritious, affordable, culturally appropriate, grown locally, with care for the land, for people and for animals,” said panelist D’Artagnan Scorza, founder and executive director of the Social Justice Learning Institute in Inglewood. The UCLA alum and former UC student regent added, “One way we work to empower our community members is first by listening. It’s important for us not to speak for people, but to ensure they can speak for themselves.”

PRESS KSBY: Local food bank CEO taking on 30 day challenge to raise awareness

Published: February 3, 2015

Imagine having only $6.46 to spend on food each day.

Erik Talkin, the CEO of the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, is taking part in a month long Food Security Challenge. That means Talkin will eat on only $6.46 per day.

That figure is the equivalent of what he would receive in food stamps if he was in need and was single, unemployed, and a non-dependent person, according to the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.