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Lompoc Empty Bowls Serves Hundreds to Help Feed Hungry

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Soups of all kinds were served — and promptly gobbled up — Wednesday in Lompoc at a key fundraiser for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

Judith Monte, Foodbank development manager, estimated late Wednesday afternoon that the 11th annual Lompoc Empty Bowls event served between 400 and 450 people in addition to volunteers, putting it on par with past events.

This marked the second year the event occurred at the Dick DeWees Community & Senior Center.

“It was a great event,” she said. “The extra space we had made the flow of the event very, very nice.”

For a donation of $25, attendees picked out an artistic bowl and got to eat soup made by more than a dozen local restaurants and chefs, with community volunteers ladling the tasty concoctions.

“This is the best right here,” Angel Ramos said of the pot of split pea soup sitting before him.

His sales pitch didn’t win one customer within ear shot.

One of hundreds of bowls made for the Empty Bowls fundraiser says it all. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

“I would be on my death bed before I had pea soup,” a woman said with a smile before veering to another server with a different soup.

Bowl makers included Allan Hancock College ceramic students, Lompoc High School art students, Lompoc Valley Middle School art students, plus members of Orcutt Academy High School, Vandenberg Village Lions Club and Pier Fitness.

Alice Laufer demonstrated the craft of pottery at the back of the room. For approximately a decade, her Lompoc Valley Middle School students have made bowls for the event.

“I think community service is really good for them,” she said. “It’s kind of surprising for them to realize they can make a difference in their world.”

The Foodbank has committed to boost the quantity of food going to Lompoc because it’s the area with the greatest need, she said.

“This will help us to be able to financially do that,” she added.

Alice Laufer, a teacher at Lompoc Valley Middle School, demonstrates the art of pottery. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

The event is a testimony to the spirit of the Lompoc Valley, Monte added.

“Empty Bowls is just a great demonstration of that community spirit,” Monte said.

While Lompoc Empty Bowls is held each spring, Santa Maria’s occurs in the fall, with this year’s planned for Oct. 28.

The Santa Barbara Empty Bowls event is scheduled for a Sunday in early November.

http://www.noozhawk.com/article/lompoc_empty_bowls_serves

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Meet Amy, The Pear Princess

Santa Barbara’s youngest foodies “FLIP” for good nutrition in Foodbank’s
Food Literacy in Preschool Program at Storyteller Children’s Center

AmyFour-year-old Amy is a self proclaimed fan of pears. She loves learning about fruits and vegetables, and especially enjoys participating in fun activities like making recipes with her family using fresh produce from Foodbank’s Food Literacy in Preschool (FLIP) program. FLIP serves a dual purpose: delivering short-term food assistance and providing nutrition education.

Amy is one of the 24 preschoolers (plus 20 toddlers) who attend Storyteller Children’s Center, a childcare center for homeless and at-risk children from 18 months to 5 years of age.

Every month, she looks forward to Foodbank’s FLIP program held at Storyteller.

“I liked making apple juice and apple spirals last time and today’s pear smoothie is yummy,” said Amy.

On a recent Thursday, as crisp fall fruits come into season, the kids at Storyteller received a hands-on lesson in crafting a healthy pear snack.

Gathered around a munchkin-sized table, the kids eagerly descended on the bounty of fresh, local Comice pears – sourced and delivered by Foodbank.

The boisterous class grew quiet in concentration as Amy and her classmates, with help from Storyteller teacher Maria Lopez and Foodbank’s Community Nutrition Program Coordinator Erin reading to kids[3]Erin Hansen, began earnestly slicing the fruit using kid-friendly tools. The hubbub swelled again as the dozen Lilliputian chefs continued mixing and blending the ingredients – pears, bananas, orange juice, vanilla yogurt and ice cubes – to complete today’s recipe, joyfully dubbed “Pear-adise Smoothies.”

“It’s so important for us to empower kids to make nutritious choices and learn about the diversity of nutritious foods from a young age,” said Erin Hansen. “Incorporating healthy foods into their lives early, increases their ability to become healthy adults.”

This is one of the few times during the month Amy gets this type of exposure to fresh fruits and vegetables. Amy is one of nearly 50,000 local children who are provided with nutritious food and education through Foodbank direct programs or Foodbank’s 330+ nonprofit partners like Storyteller. Many families in Amy’s situation wish they could eat more fruits and vegetables, but might not initially buy them on their own because of the expense. And 71% of families served by the Foodbank must make heartbreaking choices of buying food or paying for housing, utilities, transportation, clothing and other basic necessities.

After each month’s FLIP lesson the children get to take home a bag of the featured produce to their families. FLIP is the first step in Foodbank’s “Feed the Future” continuum of programs, and helps drive one of the Foodbank’s key strategies: to reach families in our communities through their children. Kids bring their new-found knowledge – and in the case of FLIP, the fresh produce – back to their families, inspiring families to come together to try out new recipes and eat more nutritiously.

“We see that our kids are a tremendous influence on their families, said Rob Grayson Development Director for Storyteller. “This is especially so when they are excited about a fun new recipe they’ve learned and want to show their parents and siblings how to make it. The whole family gets to incorporate a healthy new meal or snack into their regular diet.”

FLIP is currently offered at six school-based, preschool and early childcare centers throughout Santa Barbara County.

“It’s a great partnership working with Foodbank,” said Grayson. “For our kids, the meals they get here are often times the most well-rounded and nutritious meals they get in a day, and FLIP also creates this opportunity to stretch this vital health resource into a lifetime of healthy choices.”

“Storyteller is committed to transforming the lives of some of our most vulnerable families by providing children the earliest start to break through generational cycles of poverty,” said Erik Talkin, CEO of Foodbank. “It is an honor to work side by side as we, too, provide tools to help families break through cycles of poor nutrition to create a healthy future for all.”

Locally, Foodbank of Santa Barbara County serves 144,000 low-income, below federal poverty level individuals in Santa Barbara County (one if four of our total population), many of them working families, children and seniors. For more information about FLIP and other Foodbank programs, visit www.foodbanksbc.org.

FOODBANK THANKSGIVING DRIVE

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http://sbseasons.com/blog/foodbankthanksgiving/

FOODBANK THANKSGIVING DRIVE
POSTED ON NOV 19

Unknown-5 Help Foodbank give back during the holiday season for its annual Thanksgiving Drive taking place from November 15-26.

With the goal of raising $160,000 and collecting 4,500 turkeys, your donation will help families in need enjoy a warm Thanksgiving meal with loved ones. Wells Fargo will be sponsoring the Thanksgiving Drive with a $15,000 one to one challenge grant.

How to contribute:

  • Healthy and nutritious food drop-offs can be made at the Santa Barbara Foodbank facility located on 4554 Hollister Avenue, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekdays with extended hours beginning November 18 to 5:30 p.m.
  • Though Foodbank is only open on weekdays, they will open their facilities on Saturday, November 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. during Saturday Family Day to allow those who can’t stop by during regular weekday hours make a donation.
  • On Saturday, November 22 The Letter Carriers Food Drive will collect non-perishable food donations left by mailboxes and in post offices and deliver the donations to Foodbank.
  • Local Girl Scout Troops will be participating in the drive throughout the community.

To see updates on the Foodbank’s Thanksgiving Drive campaign or for more information, visit http://www.foodbanksbc.org/thanksgiving-drive/.

For more information or to volunteer during the Thanksgiving Drive or holiday season, please visit Foodbank at foodbanksbc.orgor call 805/967-5741.

–Breanne Lewis

CSF Students at Santa Maria High Collecting Canned Goods for Foodbank

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http://www.noozhawk.com/article/csf_students_at_santa_maria_high_collecting_canned_goods_for_foodbank

CSF Students at Santa Maria High Collecting Canned Goods for Foodbank

Honors students of the California Scholarship Federation at Santa Maria High School soon will complete a three-week Canned Food Drive to benefit the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. (Santa Maria Joint Union High School District photo)

 By Kenny Klein for the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District | Published on 11.18.2014

 Cans of food that offer hope are being collected to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

Honors students of the California Scholarship Federation at Santa Maria High Schoolwill complete their three-week “Canned Food Drive” on Friday.

The CSF students, who usually collect 700 to 1,000 pounds of food, plan it as a gift to the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County on Foster Road.

The canned goods have been collected from about 35 classrooms and administrative offices on campus.

CSF President Lauren Hunt believes helping others is an important civic duty.

“As a school, we all wish to help our community and encourage others to give back to their community and neighbors,” Hunt said. “We hope to donate an ample supply of food goods to the community to ensure good holidays for everyone in Santa Maria. We understand the struggles of our community, and this is one avenue through which we can give back to the community that supports us as a school.”

English language development teacher and CSF adviser Suzanne Rocco said students really understand what “giving back” means.

“With the help of students, staff and the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, SMHS’ CSF members will help make the upcoming holiday season a little brighter,” Rocco said.

In the past, the students have donated the canned food to nonprofit organizations, including Catholic Charities, Good Samaritan, the Woman’s Shelter and SMHS families.

— Kenny Klein is a public information officer for the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District.

 

Local Girl Scouts Holding Holiday Food Drive to Benefit Foodbank

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http://www.noozhawk.com/article/local_girl_scouts_holding_holiday_food_drive_to_benefit_foodbank

Local Girl Scouts Holding Holiday Food Drive to Benefit Foodbank

By Girl Scouts-Costa de Oro Service Unit | Published on 11.18.2014

 The local Girl Scout service unit will be holding a holiday food drive this month.

On the weekend before Thanksgiving, Girl Scouts from Goleta to Carpinteria will be at neighborhood Vons supermarkets accepting donations on behalf of the Foodbank of Santa Barbara.

Mother-daughter food drive organizers Michelle and Clare Kelly said the goal of the drive is to collect more than 3,000 pounds of food to help make the holiday season bright for local families in need this year.

“I’ve done a food drive with my Girl Scout troop the past eight years,” Senior Girl Scout Clare Kelly said. “It was so much fun that I thought other troops in our service unit might like to participate and help even more people in need. Last year, the whole service unit participated in the holiday food drive and it was a huge success.”

In 2013, 130 Girl Scouts and leaders from 18 troops collected 3,257 pounds of food in 20 hours.

“The goal of last year’s food drive was a ton — 2,000 pounds,” troop leader Michelle Kelly said. “Since we collected 3,200 pounds last year, the girls set a goal of 3,300 pounds for this year.”

On Friday, Nov. 21, six troops will be collecting donations at the Montecito Vons, the Vons on Fairview Avenue in Goleta and the Vons in Santa Barbara’s La Cumbre Plaza. On Saturday, Nov. 22, 16 troops will be collecting donations at the La Cumbre Plaza Vons, the Vons on Fairview Avenue, the Carpinteria Vons and the Vons on Turnpike Road in Goleta.

The programs receiving assistance from the Foodbank include food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, after-school and senior feeding programs. Items needed include olive oil, fresh produce, peanut butter, canned or dried fruit, canned vegetables, canned stew and vegetarian chili, cornmeal, tortillas, canned meats, fruit juice, pasta, rice, beans, tuna, soup, bread, cereal, spices, coffee and tea.

For those unable to make it to one of the five Vons locations, donations can always be dropped off during regular weekday Foodbank hours (7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) at 4554 Hollister Ave. in Goleta. The Foodbank will also accept checks. For every dollar donated, the Foodbank can provide eight healthy meals for people.

For more information about the food drive, contact the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County at 805.967.5741.

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 more than 330 member nonprofit partners. In Santa Barbara County, one in four people receive food support from the Foodbank; more than 140,575 unduplicated people of whom 36 percent are children. Last year, the Foodbank distributed 9.3 million pounds of food – half of which was fresh produce. Click here for more information.

The Costa de Oro Service Unit serves all Girl Scout troops from Carpinteria to Goleta, providing support to more than 65 troops, approximately 700 girls and more than 300 adults. Costa de Oro is one of the largest service units in the Central Coast Council, which serves the six counties of Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura. Click here for more information.

CSF Students at Santa Maria High Collecting Canned Goods for Foodbank

 

 

 

 

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Honors students of the California Scholarship Federation at Santa Maria High School soon will complete a three-week Canned Food Drive to benefit the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. (Santa Maria Joint Union High School District photo)

 By Kenny Klein for the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District | Published on 11.18.2014 5:02 p.m.

Cans of food that offer hope are being collected to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

Honors students of the California Scholarship Federation at Santa Maria High School will complete their three-week “Canned Food Drive” on Friday. The CSF students, who usually collect 700 to 1,000 pounds of food, plan it as a gift to the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County on Foster Road. The canned goods have been collected from about 35 classrooms and administrative offices on campus. CSF President Lauren Hunt believes helping others is an important civic duty. “As a school, we all wish to help our community and encourage others to give back to their community and neighbors,” Hunt said. “We hope to donate an ample supply of food goods to the community to ensure good holidays for everyone in Santa Maria. We understand the struggles of our community, and this is one avenue through which we can give back to the community that supports us as a school.” English language development teacher and CSF adviser Suzanne Rocco said students really understand what “giving back” means.“ With the help of students, staff and the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, SMHS’ CSF members will help make the upcoming holiday season a little brighter,” Rocco said. In the past, the students have donated the canned food to nonprofit organizations, including Catholic Charities, Good Samaritan, the Woman’s Shelter and SMHS families.

— Kenny Klein is a public information officer for the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District.

 http://santabarbarariviera.com/schools/csf-students-at-santa-maria-high-collecting-canned-goods-for-foodbank/

Local Companies Vying for Title in Foodbank’s Corporate Challenge

​Noozhawk
November 10, 2014
Web

 http://www.noozhawk.com/article/companies_vie_for_title_in_foodbanks_corporate_food_funds_drive_challenge

Local Companies Vying for Title in Foodbank’s Corporate Food & Funds Drive Challenge

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This year’s Foodbank Corporate Challenge participants get ready to compete for the title. Top row from left:Tatum Adair (Deckers), Todd Mitchell (Curvature), Laura Arnold (Curvature), Mimi Bochenek (Citrix), Linda De La Torre (Brown & Brown Insurance), Melissa Aguilera (Brown & Brown Insurance), Cindy Torres (Brown & Brown Insurance), Leanna Merritt (Brown & Brown Insurance), Michele Talkington (Cox) and Taylor Lindberg (Yardi); bottom row from left: Amanda Mitchell (Curvature), Sandy Widstrup (Brown & Brown Insurance), Jennifer Mansbach (Village Properties), Cary Harrison (Cox) and Kelly Johnson (Yardi). (Foodbank of Santa Barbara County photo)

By Amy Bernstein for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County | Published on 11.10.2014

 

The competitive spirit surrounding the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County’s annual Corporate Food & Funds Drive Challenge gets more palpable every year.

The Corporate Challenge is a friendly competition among local businesses to collect the most points for food, funds and volunteer hours, all benefiting those in need in Santa Barbara County. Points are collected for each pound of food, turkey, dollar and hour of volunteer service donated, and are divided by the number of participants at each organization to create a points to employee ratio.

This year, seven local companies including (2013 winner) Brown & Brown Insurance, Citrix, Cox, Curvature, Deckers, Village Properties and Yardi have joined forces to help the Foodbank and compete for the 2014 title. The challenge kicked off Nov. 3 and will run through Dec. 31.

Last year, Brown & Brown Insurance secured their win with a total of $3,416.37 raised, 61.25 volunteer hours served and 2,000 pounds of locally grown produce harvested. The 2013 competitors were also able to collectively bring in 22,463 pounds of food, 266 turkeys, 442.5 hours of service and $47,309.44 in donations, a $5,700 increase from 2012.

“Brown & Brown Insurance and its employees know how important it is to give back to the community where they live, work, and raise their families,” said Susan Rodriguez, executive vice president of Brown & Brown Insurance Services of California, Inc. “Our culture promotes and encourages employee involvement through monetary and hours donated. Through our competitive environment, we work together to help those non-profits that we support improve their mission. Foodbank of Santa Barbara County provides much needed food and nutrition education in the community where we live and work. We enjoyed being part of the Corporate Challenge in 2013. Our competitive spirit was heightened as we received weekly and monthly results of those who participated in the Corporate Challenge. Brown & Brown Insurance looks forward to its continued support of the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.”

“Foodbank applauds the dedication of our local business community, who continue to serve and enhance our region through their time, talent and support,” said Erik Talkin, CEO, Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. “These efforts are ever more critical to prevent working families in our community from having to sacrifice healthcare, housing or education to afford nutritious food. These businesses will help us help those in our community in need of nourishment and some holiday cheer.”

There are many ways for members of the community to participate in the drive as well. Individuals can establish their own Food & Funds Drive or can drop off nonperishable food at both the Santa Barbara and the Santa Maria Foodbank warehouses, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

You can also participate in a virtual food drive online, which lets people shop and make a donation to the Foodbank. To learn more, click here or contact development manager Misha Karbelnig at 805.967.5741 x119.

 

— Amy Bernstein is a publicist representing the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

Caring and Sharing – May 31, 2014

Caring&Sharing

The Third Annual Block Party and Caring and Sharing Event Returns to the Calle Real Center in Goleta!

http://www.callerealcenter.com/article/5237-caring-and-sharing-2014

On May 31, 2014 from 12-3 in the afternoon the Calle Real Shopping Center,  will be transformed into a neighborhood Block Party and “non-profit” showcase.

Fun, Fun, Fun, is the order of the day with bounce houses, face painters, balloon animals, a wandering musician, Snow White princess, musical groups and more.  Kids can meet our first responders and see a county fire truck, AMR Ambulance and Sheriffs cruiser.  Participating restaurants will offer food samples.  Animal rescue and adoption groups will be ready to show off the cutest dogs and cats to potential new homes.  The Artisans Market will be in full swing with local artisans offering homemade goodies (including allergy free and gluten free items) and local produce along with beautiful handmade jewelry.

At the same time all that fun is going on, the merchants in the center will be sharing their storefronts with a wide variety of non-profits, allowing them a venue to show the public just what it is that makes these non-profit organizations so valuable to our community. Both the Goleta and Santa Barbara Chambers of Commerce will also have tables and will be supporting the event.

A big thanks to the media sponsors, Rincon Broadcasting – K~lite, Noozhawk, Santa Barbara Independent, Santa Barbara Sentinel, ParentClick and Santa Barbara Big City Buzz.  Support is also provided by Sidekick Creative, the UPS Store and FedEx Office and the many fine merchants of the CalleRealCenter.

Last year 50 Merchants participated and hundreds of parents and kids came by to enjoy the festivities, say hello to their favorite non-profit and learn more about our community and the people and groups that make it such a special place. Help to make this Third Annual Caring and Sharing event an even bigger success by coming out to the Calle Real Center between 12-3pm on Saturday May 31, 2014

Some of the non-profits already signed up to participate are: Unite-to-Light; American Heart AssociationDevereuxSB Genealogical SocietyGirls Inc.Sansum Diabetes Research InstituteTri County Arthritis FoundationBoys and Girls Club; Rental Housing Mediation Task ForceSanta Barbara YMCA; New Directions Travel; Rape Crisis Center; Parkinson’s Association; IV YMCA; Toastmasters International of Santa Barbara; Humane Society; Central Coast Type One Diabetes Foundation; sbSNAP; Down Syndrome Association; Friendship Center; Villa Majella; United Way; Isla Vista Youth Project; K-9 Pals, ASAP; St. Vincent’s; FoodBank of SB; St. Athanasius; County Air Pollution Control District; SEE International; Domestic Violence Solutions; Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara; Family Services Agency; SB Wildlife Care Network; Friends of Goleta Beach; Goleta Library; Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce; Goleta Valley Historical Society; Partners in Education; Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; SBCC New Center for Lifelong Learning; Food From the Heart; Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics; Santa Barbara Youth Music Academy; Nourish the Children; Anger Management Systems; Alzheimers Association, Domestic Violence Solutions; Jodi House; Goleta Valley Community Center; Friends of the Library,  Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce.

Thanks also to Doug Giordani for who will be our wandering troubador and Amy Mah who will offer chair massages.

Presented by the Calle Real Merchant’s Association. For more information contact: Glenn Avolio, [email protected] 886-5438