Going straight from hunger to health is quite a leap. It requires jumping over that place of ‘I have enough calories, but the food I am eating is making me unhealthy.’ It’s a leap to a much better place.
With each person and family we reach through food distribution, we are introducing nutrition education to transform the health and potential of working families, seniors and other individuals countywide.
Last year, the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County distributed more than 8.5 million meals from two warehouse locations in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria.
Our food is utilized by 1 in 4 people in our community.
Fully half of the food we distribute is fresh produce.
The mission of the Foodbank is to provide nourishment to those in need by acquiring and distributing safe nutritious foods via local agencies and providing education to solve hunger and nutrition problems in Santa Barbara County.
The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is committed to taking a negative thing – hunger – and through our combined community efforts transforming it into a positive thing – health. This leap forward in health is achieved with three ingredients: food, education and empowerment. The challenges of Hunger, Nutrition and Obesity used to be separate areas dealt with by different approaches and by different agencies and groups. The Foodbank is now tackling all three of these problems at once – through a nationally recognized continuum of programs that provide cradle to graduation intervention in children’s lives.
This builds what we call their food literacy: their ability to look after themselves with food – to budget, shop cook and use food responsibly. If we can transform their relationship to food to being one of using it as a scarce and valuable resource to power their personal health, then that is going to create that tipping point that makes a huge transformation in the health of Santa Barbara County.
At the Foodbank we are concerned with keeping people fed today while we create innovative programs that use good nutrition to ensure the healthy future of our community.
Understanding the issues is the first step in solving hunger.
… and how are we different?