About Hunger & Food Insecurity in Santa Barbara County

“From Hunger into Health” Blog

Foodbank’s CEO , Erik Talkin, shares calls to action, information and insights into the ongoing efforts to redefine what a food bank can achieve in transforming the health of our communities through good nutrition. Read the Blog.

Foodbank’s Guide to Nutrition Programs

Created by the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County in collaboration with interns from the University of California Santa Barbara Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Department, The Guide to Nutrition Programs is an interactive map, providing a comprehensive listing of hunger-relief and nutrition resources throughout our county. For online access to the Guide, please contact Dann Martinez, Compliance Coordinator, [email protected].

Foodbank Hunger Study


The uneasy or painful sensation caused by a recurrent or involuntary lack of food.

Food Insecurity

When the availability of nutritionally adequate and safe food, or the ability to acquire acceptable food in socially acceptable ways, is limited and uncertain.


Read our most recent report on HungerStudy (PDF).

Santa Barbara County Nutrition & Food Insecurity Profile

Source: California Food Policy Advocates.

CFPA’s County Nutrition & Food Insecurity Profiles provide local data describing the need for nutritious, affordable food and the extent to which the federal nutrition programs can help address that need. The profiles are updated regularly as new data become available.

View the profile (PDF)

Website: http://cfpa.net/food-insecurity-2013

Selected Highlights:

Poverty and Food Insecurity

In the last four years:

  • Population in poverty has gone from 12% to 16%
  • Children in poverty from 16-20%
  • Number of food insecure adults from 37,000 to 56,000 – an increase of 66%


  • 43% of children in the county are not in the Healthy Fitness Zone for body composition
  • 57% of adults are overweight or obese


  • Four years ago Santa Barbara County was 44th out of 58 counties in our percentage of eligible food stamp uptake. We have now slipped to 51st place. Only 7 California counties have worse Calfresh uptake than us.
  • Only half of those eligible are signed up.
  • Full sign up would bring over $93 million of additional economic activity.

Other Reports & Resources

*Foodbank CEO Erik Talkin was among the 16 community leaders invited to offer critical insights and ideas through key informant-interviews.