Foodbank of SB County sees increased need for holidays
The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County said food insecurity is growing on the Central Coast and they will need 4,000 frozen or fresh turkeys, chickens, or hams to feed the local community this holiday season.
Leana Orsua, communications specialist for the Foodbank, said the end of COVID emergency benefits and the high cost of living is driving food insecurity in the county.
“Affordable housing is difficult to find in this area, energy prices are up, and gas prices, so it’s an overall inflation rate that is impacting our low-income families,” she said.
Orsua said one-in-four residents in the county currently access Foodbank services. The numbers are up 40% from last year.
The Foodbank has warehouses in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria. They also have mobile sites to reach agricultural workers throughout the county.
“We are providing those programs at both the farms and the residential complexes so that we can eliminate those barriers that we were seeing – transportation barriers, social barriers,” Orsua said.
With holidays quickly approaching, the Foodbank is asking the community to get involved and donate turkeys and other items to ensure everyone has good, healthy meals.
“We have a girl scout troop doing a food drive for us, a boy scout troop, and we just found out that a dental agency is going to donate 200 turkeys to us,” Orsua said.
Both warehouse locations are accepting donations Monday through Friday until November 22nd. They will need donations after Thanksgiving, too.