Drought squeezing donations for Foodbank


Food Bank asks for help, cites impacts of drought


FB_ErikTalkin_SMTimes11 hours ago  •  Erin Lennon/[email protected]

Erik Talkin, CEO, Foodbank of Santa Barbara County talks to reporters about the impact of California’s drought on the agency’s ability to serve over 330 nonprofit partners. //Frank Cowan/Contributor

Leaders from the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County stood before neatly stocked shelves at their Santa Maria facility on Wednesday, asking for the community’s help as the ongoing drought makes fresh produce more scarce and expensive.

“The drought is already having a serious affect on our ability to afford to provide fresh produce to hungry people and to our member network of 300-plus nonprofit agencies and programs in the county,” said food bank CEO Erik Talkin.

County farmers donate more than a million pounds of produce to the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County each year, but that’s a fraction of the 4 million to 5 million pounds of produce the organization distributes. The food bank must purchase much of the remainder from around the state, including from areas like the Central Valley that are now heavily impacted by the drought.

As part of the California Association of Food Banks, the local organization can buy seconds — or crops that farmers have problems selling — for pennies on the dollar.

This network of statewide food banks also helps balance Santa Barbara County’s robust supply of strawberries, broccoli and lettuce with carrots, onions, sweet potatoes and other crops that are not abundantly grown in the area. But prices are rising and seconds are becoming more elusive as farmers also try to weather the state’s historic drought.

“(Farmers) have to be able to sell their seconds at the best price possible,” said Talkin. “This means the produce we’re bringing into the county is increasing in price.”

The food bank spends more than $1 million every year on food, with produce making up more than half of what it distributes annually. Talkin said increased produce costs will add $200,00 to the food bank’s costs.

“Fresh produce is really the beginning and the end of the nutrition game for us here, so if that is taken away from us, that is very serious,” said Talkin.

In February, President Barack Obama announced $160 million in federal assistance to address California’s historic drought, with $60 million of that heading to the state’s food banks. But Talkin isn’t expecting to see any additional resources after the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County discovered last month that there is no new money. The millions reported were merely the value of existing food supplies already set aside for the region from the United States Department of Agriculture and the Emergency Food Assistance Program.

So, Talkin and his staff are looking to the community and asking for donations of any size, whether it be produce, money or time.

“You can help us make a dent in that extra $200,000 produce bill this year,” said Talkin. “Any donations, large, small or huge are much appreciated.” The food bank is also accepting donations from residents’ orchards, gardens and plots.

While the county’s robust agriculture industry contributes more than $2.8 billion annually to the local economy and directly and indirectly provides more than 25,000 jobs, the countywide need for food assistance continues. Of California’s 58 counties, 14 have higher food insecurity rates than Santa Barbara County, according to Talkin.

Northern Santa Barbara County must also contend with a higher unemployment rate than elsewhere in the county, according to the food bank’s North County Development Manager Judith Monte. “The drought only exacerbates the unemployment rate for our North County families,” said Monte. Jobs lost to a poor growing season could push that rate up and increase the area’s need for food assistance.

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County serves more than 104,000 individuals, 44 percent of whom are children. The organization also uses produce in its selection of award winning programs that teach residents food literacy and good nutrition.


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Foodbank of Santa Barbara County receives donation


By Kathrene Herndon, KSBY News


Updated 4/17/2014 7:15:54 PM ET

A promotion late last year is benefiting the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

A check for more than $2,000 will be presented to the organization Thursday night from Santa Barbara Gift Baskets.

The company held a gift basket promotion last December with a portion of the proceeds going to the Food Bank.

Organizers say the Food Bank can purchase $17 worth of food for every $1 donated.


Dry conditions impacting Food Bank


April 17, 2014 by KSBY Staff

Dry conditions impacting Food Bank

The Santa Barbara County Food Bank says the dry conditions have a negative impact on its services to help the hungry.

The Food Bank works with the state agency Farm to Family to purchase fresh produce for families who can’t afford food.

Officials say due to the drought, the cost to buy produce through the program has gone up.

Local farmers are also having a hard time being able to donate money or food.

The Food Bank says you can help by donating more than just canned and dried goods.

You can drop off fresh produce you purchase or even grow it in your garden.




CEC Announces Highlights of Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival

April 16, 2014  |  Article, News  | 

Noozhawk_GreenLogo Noozhawk_GreenhawkLogoCEC_Noozhawk_HotButteredRumBandHot Buttered Rum will headline the main stage Saturday, April 26 at the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival. (Dave Fleishman photo)

Published on 04.16.2014 9:17 a.m.

The Community Environmental Council will host the 2014 Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival at Alameda Park on Saturday, April 26 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 27 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The event also will include more than 200 exhibitors, a food court, a beer and wine garden, a main stage, and two mini-stages offering music and demonstrations.

“This year, we are really focused on bringing community together, from the farm-to-table dinner to the Meet Your Makers section with local artisans,” said Sigrid Wright, associate director of the CEC and the festival’s director. “We want people to see how they can connect at a local level to help make a global impact, and we’re encouraging everyone who attends to commit to taking small, meaningful actions. The CEC organizes the festival around its five initiatives: Drive Less, Choose Electric, Go Solar, Ditch Plastic, and Eat Local.”

Events to Benefit Two-Day Festival

The Opening Night Reception will be held Wednesday, April 23 from 6 to 10 p.m. at Seven Bar and Kitchen in Santa Barbara’s locally-brewed Funk Zone, hosted by Earth Day production partner New Noise Music Foundation and featuring live music, karaoke and lots of fun. Tickets are on sale at www.newnoisesb.org. A portion of all proceeds benefit the Community Environmental Council and Santa Barbara Earth Day.

Pop-Up Farm-to-Table Dinner on Saturday, April 26 from 7 to 9 p.m at Alameda Park.

A large community table will be built in front of the main stage immediately after the last band on Saturday evening, and will feature a four-course catered locavore feast. This is the only activity in the park with an admission fee. Organized by New West Catering and Cultivate Events, tickets to Earth Day’s first pop-up farm-to-table meal are $60/person and will feature:

» A hearty four-course menu of local, seasonal ingredients with vegetarian options
» Pairings by Buttonwood Farm Winery and Firestone Brewery
» Live music by local artist Adam Phillips

This limited-seating dinner will sell out before Earth Day. To purchase tickets, click here or contact Kathi King at 805.963.0583 x108. Guests must be 21 years of age to attend. All proceeds benefit CEC.

Festival Zones to Visit

CEC’s Earth Day Festival is broken into zones, each created around a specific theme:

1. Drive Less. Location: near the corner of Anacapa and Micheltorena. Earth Day organizers work closely with the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition, MTD bus service, Santa Barbara Car Free and other partners to inspire attendees to come to the event “car-free.” Highlights include:

» Bicyclists can rest easy thanks to a large, secured, free Bike Valet, hosted by Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition and Citrix.
» Check in with an Earth Day greeter at any entrance to claim a Raw Revolution reward
» Head to the Santa Barbara Car Free Check In booth to register for prizes. The grand prize is a pair of round-trip tickets for two on the Amtrak Coast Starlight from Santa Barbara to Portland or Seattle, including roomette accommodations.

2. Public Square. Location: on the west side of the park, along Anacapa. This zone offers an opportunity to get involved with dozens of nonprofits, local government agencies and other public services organizations. Highlights include:

» Elected Officials Booth where citizens can speak one-on-one with state, county and city legislative leaders. A full schedule will be posted by this Friday atwww.SBEarthDay.org.
» A scaled replica of the Keystone XL pipeline by 350SB.org to raise awareness about climate change, oil production and fracking.

3. Sports & Recreation. Location: on the west side of the park, near the corner of Anacapa and Sola. Back for its second year, this zone features eco-conscious sporting and outdoor companies that encourage Earth Day-goers to get outside and explore the world we’re preserving. Ways to get active abound in this zone, whether it’s testing out hula hoop skills, practicing karate moves, or talking shop with surfers and skateboarders.

4. Shop Local. Location: on the west side of the park, along Santa Barbara Street. Two zones are located here:

» The Eco Marketplace connects those seeking eco-friendly products with businesses that embrace green consumerism. Sustainable resources and practices combine to create a marketplace bustling with useful goods, including organic seeds, herbal and other homeopathic remedies, clothing made with low-impact and upcycled materials, and solar-powered LED lights.
» The all new Meet Your Makers section boasts a more highly-curated selection of goods, all hand-crafted by regionally-based small businesses with a penchant for sustainable practices. Find unique goods, including artisanal soaps, handcrafted wood, re-styled vintage clothing, and plant fiber stationary.

5. Choose Electric. Location: on Santa Barbara Street, between Sola and Micheltorena Streets. The 16th Annual Santa Barbara Green Car Show hosts the largest assembly of efficient and alternative-fueled vehicles between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and is the longest-running public Green Car Show in the United States. Highlights include:

» Free “Ride & Drives” Location: Corner of Micheltorena and Santa Barbara Take a spin in the latest all-electric vehicles, which get the equivalent of 100 mpg, including the widely acclaimed Tesla S, the the Toyota RAV4 EV (the first all-electric SUV on the market) and the top-selling electric car, the Nissan Leaf, along with other electric and hybrid cars. Ride & Drive filled up fast last year, so be sure to get there early!
» Owner’s Corner with a new Tesla Model S (Motortrend’s 2013 Car of the Year), Tesla Roadster, Nissan LEAF, Chevrolet Volt, and more. Local owners display these vehicles, offering a great opportunity to hear about the realities of electric car ownership.
» Local organizations that are greening their automotive fleets, such as ox Communications and the City of Santa Barbara.

6. Live Green. Location: on the east side of the park along Santa Barbara Street. Community members convene to share knowledge on practical ways to live sustainably, including various solar energy services, green builders, and permaculture professionals.

7. Eat Local. Location: on the west side of the park along Sola. In keeping with this year’s theme, Local Roots, Santa Barbara Earth Day has revamped the food section so attendees can not only enjoy more eco-conscious fare, but also can learn more about all the bounty available in the region. Highlights include:

» A Local Food Court where hungry festival-goers will find a greener-than-ever assortment of food prepared by locally-based vendors committed to sustainable practices and organic ingredients.
» The new Homegrown Roots zone featuring farmers, beekeepers, fishermen, and other representatives of our local food system.
» The Roots Stage (near the Food Court) features two days of eco-learning: seed saving, farm-to-fork and grain-to-loaf cooking demos, and discussions on probiotic drinks, sustainable meats, and more. A full schedule will be posted by this Friday atwww.SBEarthDay.org.

8. Pledge to Act. Location: at the CEC booth on the west side of the park near Santa Barbara and Sola (look for the green and white striped tent).  Earth Day is hosted by the Community Environmental Council, which offers festival-goers an opportunity to walk away from the festival with a plan of action for their own lives. At the CEC booth, attendees will make a pledge that aligns with one of CEC’s five major initiatives: Drive Less, Choose Electric, Go Solar, Ditch Plastic, or Eat Local. In addition, attendees have a chance to win prizes that support these goals, including a Tesla Model S rental package, a new beach cruiser, a basket of local food, and more.

9. Kids Corner. Location: on the east side of the park, near Sola Street. Kids revel in this eco-education extravaganza organized by LearningDen Preschool and SproutUp, with arts & crafts, musical performances, storytelling, and face painting. Highlights of Kids Corner include:

» Earth Day Family Passport. Families looking to engage kids in the festival can pick up an Earth Day Family Passport at the Santa Barbara Car Free Check In booth (across from Bike Valet near Anacapa & Micheltorena). Kids collect a stamp at each of eight fun, eco-friendly activities, culminating at the SproutUp booth in Kids Corner. Completed passports can be redeemed for a free reusable bag stocked with goodies and a raffle ticket for the chance to win a week-long summer camp with Surf Happens or the Orca Camp.
» Solar Powered Kids Corner stage. Two days of activities on a stage powered by the Solar Roller. A full schedule will be posted by Friday, April 11 at www.SBEarthDay.org.

10. Give Back. Location: at the CEC booth on the west side of the park near Santa Barbara and Sola (look for the green and white striped tent). There’s always something more to learn, and CEC’s staff is there to educate. All attendees are welcomed to give back to CEC for all they do to raise awareness at Earth Day and throughout the year. Festival-goers can also spin the wheel to learn eco-facts and win prizes and watch the big screen for festival announcements and a stream of photos and videos being taken by Earth Day participants.

Live Music on the Earth Day Main Stage

Tap into the rhythm of locally grown reggae, electronic, bluegrass, rock, and instrumental music on the Main Stage, coordinated by the New Noise Music Foundation. A full schedule is posted at www.SBEarthDay.org and in the Earth Day Festival Guide (published in the Santa Barbara Independent on Thursday, April 24). Highlights include:

» Santa Barbara-based favorites like FMLYBND, Spencer the Gardener, Tommy & the Hi Pilots, and The Reignsmen (last year’s New Noise/ SB Independent Battle of the Bands winner).
» Headliner Hot Buttered Rum takes the stage on Saturday night.

Food and Drink

» Food Court. Location: on the east side of the park, along Sola Street. Dig into vegetarian-friendly food from local vendors dedicated to sustainable practices and organic ingredients.
» Coffee Kiosk. Location: on the east side of the park, along Sola Street. Back for a second year, the kiosk features Fair Trade coffee served up by high school volunteers from Dons Net Café. Make the experience greener by bringing your own mug.
» Beer Garden. Location: near the Main Stage. Enjoy delicious, cold beer from Firestone Walker’s lineup of 805, Pivo Pils, DBA, Pale 31 and Easy Jack plus a variety of local Santa Barbara wines. Kleen Kanteen reusable steel pints will be available for purchase to reduce plastic cup usage.
» Beer & Wine Gazebo. Location: in center of park on west side of festival. Those looking for a smaller venue to enjoy adult beverages can get pours of their favorite beer and wine during select times throughout the festival.


This year, CEC is partnering with LoaTree, New Noise Media Group, Oniracom, Plus One Events, Sprout Up, Learningden Preschool, Cultivate Events, and Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition to produce the festival. Cox Communications is the lead sponsor. Major Media Sponsors are KJEE, KTYD, KLITE, and Entravision. Other Media Sponsors are SB Independent, Parent Click, Noozhawk, and The Sentinel. Major sponsors are MarBorg Industries, Gold Coast Toyota Dealers, Allen Associates Construction, Amtrak, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, Firestone Walker Brewing Company, and Classic Party Rentals. Other significant sponsors include Lazy Acres Market, Kleen Kanteen, 1st Solar, City of Santa Barbara, Klean Kanteen, REC Solar, Air Pollution Control District, Central Coast Clean Cities Coalition, Verizon, BMW Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara Nissan.

As details are announced, the best way to get the most updated information — including schedules, maps and stories — is to go to:

» Find Earth Day on the web at www.SBEarthDay.org, or the mobile site, http://m.SBEarthDay.org
» Like “Santa Barbara Earth Day” on Facebook
» Follow the event on Twitter @SBEarthday and on Instagram @SB_EarthDay
» Call CEC at 805.963.0583 x100.


— Candice Tang Nyholt for the Community Environmental Council.



Drought Squeezing Local Foodbanks


Foodbanks are paying more for higher demand staple crops.

Keith Carls, KCOY Central Coast News Reporter, [email protected]

POSTED: 05:14 PM PDT Apr 16, 2014 UPDATED: 10:27 AM PDT Apr 17, 2014


Drought Squeezing Local Foodbanks


The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County helps those who need help putting food on the table.

“The majority of people who we serve are working”, Foodbank of Santa Barbara County CEO Eric Talkin told reporters at the Foodbank warehouse in Santa Maria,  “often people think that the Foodbank provides to homeless people, really they are only about 8 percent of who we serve, the rest are people that are trying to get a job or who are working, so it’s a very challenging environment and people are trying to survive and stay healthy.”

The immediate impact of the ongoing drought in California is starting to be felt throughout the state including front line social safety network agencies like Foodbanks.

“The drought is already having a serious affect on our ability to afford and provide fresh produce to hungry people and to our member network of 300-plus programs and agencies in the county”, Talkin says.

Foodbanks are now having to compete with others in the food industry for staple crops like onions, potatoes, carrots and corn that are down in production due to the drought.

“The largest growing sector is children and youth services”, says Jamie Nichols of the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, “now these are local Boys and Girls Clubs, local YMCA’s, these are programs that are increasingly requesting and wanting more and more produce so this demand for produce goes up with our member agencies our supply is becoming harder and harder to secure both within the county and throughout the state.”

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County welcomes donations of fresh produce.

But it says cash donations are what’s really needed to help it weather the tough economic climate of the ongoing drought.




Santa Barbara Gift Baskets Donating Proceeds of Holiday Promotion to Foodbank



Santa Barbara Gift Baskets will present a check for more than $2,000 to the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County on Thursday at the Foodbank’s Multi Chamber Mega Mixer.

The donation stems from a promotion Santa Barbara Gift Baskets launched in December, featuring a gift basket filled with local gourmet foods.

Twenty five dollars from the sale of each $125 gift basket was collected for donation to the Foodbank to use toward its mission to eliminate hunger by providing food, education and other resources to a network of hunger-relief charities in Santa Barbara County.

Each Foodbank Holiday Gift Basket included a card that informed the recipient that their gift consisted of not only the delicious treats nestled inside, but also a donation of $25 to the Foodbank.

According to the Foodbank, for every $1 it receives as a donation, it is able to purchase $17 worth of food. That translates to $425 worth of food per gift basket purchased, and more than $35,000 for the entire donation.

The Foodbank was not the only organization benefiting from the sale of the basket. Fourteen local businesses were represented among the gourmet contents. Every dollar spent on the Foodbank Holiday Gift Basket stayed right here in Santa Barbara County, supporting the local economy as well as its most needy residents.

Several local businesses chose to send the Foodbank Holiday Gift Basket as their client appreciation gift this year, including Heritage Oaks Bank, Best Western of Carpinteria, and Penfield & Smith Engineers.

“We chose the Foodbank Holiday Gift Basket this year to share a taste of the wonderful local items with some of our clients, both near and far, as well as to do something good for our community,” said Julie Miller of Penfield & Smith. “Supporting local business and giving back is integral to building and maintaining great communities like Santa Barbara. We are proud to have been a part of it.”

The Foodbank Multi Chamber Mega Mixer will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Foodbank warehouse at 4554 Hollister Ave. Members and guests of the following Chambers of Commerce will participate in this free networking event: Santa Barbara Region, Goleta Valley, Carpinteria, Buellton, Solvang, Lompoc, Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo and the Santa Barbara Hispanic Chamber.

Some of the local food purveyors included Santa Barbara Pistachios, Santa Barbara Biscotti, La Tolteca Tortilla Factory, Santa Barbara Olive Co., Pacific Pickle Works, Shalhoob Meat Co., Jessica Foster Chocolates, Goodland Chai, Ocean Ranch Organics, Burst Marshmallows, San Marcos Farms, Caribbean Coffee, the Santa Barbara Bar and Santa Barbara Gourmet Popcorn. The basket also included a copy of Edible Santa Barbara Magazine.

— Anne Pazier represents Santa Barbara Gift Baskets.




Hospice of Santa Barbara Throws Volunteer Recognition Party

April 16, 2014  |  Article, News  | 

NoozhawkLogoNoozhawk_NonprofitsLogoHSB_VolunteerParty_NoozhawkHospice of Santa Barbara recently hosted a volunteer recognition party, and pictured are just some of the more than 100 volunteers who have provided countless hours of service to the clients, patients and families that Hospice of Santa Barbara serves. (Hospice of Santa Barbara photo)

Published on 04.16.2014 6:10 p.m.

April honors volunteers who give their time in the service of others. In honor of this,Hospice of Santa Barbara thanked its many volunteers at a recent volunteer recognition party.

Hospice of Santa Barbara provides volunteer opportunities in the areas of office administration, patient care and mentorship. Volunteers who work closely with patients are required to complete a comprehensive six-week training program and receive ongoing education. The next volunteer training will be offered in September.

“Our services are possible because of the support and commitment of our volunteers,” said Tina Fanucchi-Frontado, interim executive director of Hospice of Santa Barbara. “We are so very grateful for their service to the children and adults we serve who are facing a life-threatening illness or grieving the death of a loved one.”

Hospice of Santa Barbara “volunteers” its free professional counseling and care management services to more than 700 children and adults every month who are experiencing the impact of a life-threatening illness, or grieving the death of a loved one. Hospice of Santa Barbara is also present on 11 local middle and high school campuses to work with children and teens who are grieving the loss of a loved one.

For more information about Hospice of Santa Barbara, including volunteer opportunities, call 805.563.8820 or click here. Find Hospice of Santa Barbara onFacebook and Twitter.


— Kelly Kapaun is a publicist representing Hospice of Santa Barbara.


Santa Barbara Symphony Reviewed

April 16, 2014  |  Article, News  | 

independent online_new

Clarinets and the Creation at the Granada

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


The French modernist composer Darius Milhaud gave as much to the American musical tradition as he took from it, as he was an important mentor to both Dave Brubeck and Burt Bachrach during the time he spent teaching composition at Mills College. Milhaud came to this country with an intense feeling for melody, and a taste for the polyphonic language of jazz. At Sunday’s concert by the Santa Barbara Symphony, Milhaud’s La Creation du Monde displayed both these qualities of melody and polyphony to great effect, with a relatively small and thoroughly string-free ensemble onstage executing the music, and a short animated film by Santa Barbara native Carolyn Chrisman projected above their heads to illustrate its narrative, which was originally told through ballet. Following the Milhaud, the Symphony’s principal clarinetist, Donald T. Foster, stepping forward to play the Clarinet Concerto of Aaron Copland, a piece inspired (and premiered) by the great Benny Goodman. It begins slowly, with the clarinet playing long lines in close harmony with the orchestra, and then bursts into a virtuosic cadenza intended to evoke the syncopations of Latin jazz. Foster played brilliantly, and acknowledged the standing ovation he received first with a short solo encore, and then by a definitive ending which involved removing the mouthpiece from his instrument for all to see.

After the intermission, maestro got down to some serious Beethoven business by conducting a fierce and rapid rendition of the composer’s 7th symphony. It’s always been a pleasure to watch Kabaretti on the podium—he’s graceful, athletic, and full of energy. But on this particular performance, he seemed to find a new gear, reaching deep inside to pull out every ounce of passion and grandeur in this immortal work. The orchestra followed him attentively, and the result was an unforgettable afternoon with one of the world’s best loved pieces of music.


Drought Affecting Food Banks Efforts To Help Those In Need


Posted on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 12:49am

The drought is affecting us in a number of ways, including an increasing impact on the state’s agricultural industry.

People with some of the region’s food banks say that in turn is starting to affect their ability to feed the hungry.

KCLU’s Lance Orozco has the story.

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