Posted on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 12:40am
They are students interested in scientific, and environmental issues like biology, and hydrology.
But, this summer, some of them at UC Santa Barbara are taking a special class in which they’re learning how to educate the public about science through documentaries, and other forms of media.
KCLU’s Lance Orozco has the story.
STAMFORD, CT – foodtweeks™, a free app that combines weight management with feeding the hungry, announced that the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County in Santa Barbara, CA has joined the ranks of foodtweeks™-affiliated food banks. With the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County reportedly feeding 1 in 4 people in the community, receiving donations from foodtweeks™ will support the food banks ability to provide hunger relief.
Each time a foodtweeks™ user reports “tweeking” (cutting calories from their food), Foodbank of Santa Barbara County will receive donations from foodtweeks™, enabling the food bank to distribute an equal number of nutritious calories to hungry families. Keeping the users satisfied and healthy and providing the same for the struggling families gives users double the benefit.
“Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is excited that foodtweeks has chosen to support us and other food banks nationwide. It’s especially wonderful because foodtweeks inspires healthy eating which is an important part of our mission,” said Erik Talkin, CEO of Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.
foodtweeks™ makes it possible for weight-conscious consumers to be “heroes” who serve their communities by feeding the hungry, and all while cutting calories from their favorite foods in an easy, enjoyable way. foodtweeks™ is a product of Walker Health Labs, designers of surprising commercial solutions that also make a difference for big social problems. They have designed a way for users to make an even bigger impact by posting a “tweek” on Facebook or Twitter which doubles or triples each donation.
“foodtweeks™ is proud and excited to support Foodbank of Santa Barbara County,” said Elisa Shannon, foodtweeks™ Executive Vice President of Partnership Development. “ Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is a highly committed and respected organization that provides outstanding service to food-insecure members of our community.”
foodtweeks™ offers a unique approach to weight management. Users simply tell the app what food they are thinking of buying, eating or preparing. The app instantly displays images of suggested “tweeks” that remove enough calories to make a positive difference – but not in a way that changes the taste or leaves users hungry.
foodtweeks™ maintains a crowdsourced picture database of more than 44,000 small changes that show users how to “tweek” everything from a particular brand of cheeseburger at a national restaurant chain to grocery store purchases, and homemade dishes of every kind.
foodtweeks™ is rapidly expanding its partner-base to food banks all across the nation, with more joining each week, said Ms. Shannon, herself a former food bank executive. Food banks that wish to affiliate with foodtweeks™ may contact Ms. Shannon by email at [email protected].
Jay Walker, the inventor of foodtweeks™, is also the chairman of Patent Properties and curator of TEDMED, the health and medicine edition of the famous TED conference. A noted entrepreneur, Mr. Walker has founded three companies that serve more than 50 million customers. He is best known as the creator of Priceline, which brought a new level of value to the travel industry.
California food bank receives donations from free mobile app.
STAMFORD, CT, July 22, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ — Foodtweeks, a free app that combines weight management with feeding the hungry, announced that the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County in Santa Barbara, CA has joined the ranks of Foodtweeks-affiliated food banks. With the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County reportedly feeding 1 in 4 people in the community, receiving donations from Foodtweeks will support the food banks ability to provide hunger relief.
Each time a Foodtweeks user reports “tweeking” (cutting calories from their food), Foodbank of Santa Barbara County will receive donations from Foodtweeks, enabling the food bank to distribute an equal number of nutritious calories to hungry families. Keeping the users satisfied and healthy and providing the same for the struggling families gives users double the benefit.
“Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is excited that Foodtweeks has chosen to support us and other food banks nationwide. It’s especially wonderful because Foodtweeks inspires healthy eating which is an important part of our mission,” said Erik Talkin, CEO of Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.
Foodtweeks makes it possible for weight-conscious consumers to be “heroes” who serve their communities by feeding the hungry, and all while cutting calories from their favorite foods in an easy, enjoyable way. Foodtweeks is a product of Walker Health Labs, designers of surprising commercial solutions that also make a difference for big social problems. They have designed a way for users to make an even bigger impact by posting a “tweek” on Facebook or Twitter which doubles or triples each donation.
“Foodtweeks is proud and excited to support Foodbank of Santa Barbara County,” said Elisa Shannon, Foodtweeks Executive Vice President of Partnership Development. “Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is a highly committed and respected organization that provides outstanding service to food-insecure members of our community.”
Foodtweeks offers a unique approach to weight management. Users simply tell the app what food they are thinking of buying, eating or preparing. The app instantly displays images of suggested “tweeks” that remove enough calories to make a positive difference – but not in a way that changes the taste or leaves users hungry.
Foodtweeks maintains a crowdsourced picture database of more than 44,000 small changes that show users how to “tweek” everything from a particular brand of cheeseburger at a national restaurant chain to grocery store purchases, and homemade dishes of every kind.
Foodtweeks is rapidly expanding its partner-base to food banks all across the nation, with more joining each week, said Ms. Shannon, herself a former food bank executive. Food banks that wish to affiliate with Foodtweeks may contact Ms. Shannon by email at [email protected].
Jay Walker, the inventor of Foodtweeks , is also the chairman of Patent Properties and curator of TEDMED, the health and medicine edition of the famous TED conference. A noted entrepreneur, Mr. Walker has founded three companies that serve more than 50 million customers. He is best known as the creator of Priceline, which brought a new level of value to the travel industry.
Foodtweeks is a free mobile phone app that helps people better manage their weight while feeding the hungry at the same time. Its goal is to change the way people view their food while ending food insecurity in America.
By Erin Bushey for Ameriprise Financial | Published on 07.17.2014 1:58 p.m.
Ameriprise selected the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County for the award in support of its mission to solve domestic hunger.
The donation is one of 21 grants Ameriprise recently made to hunger-relief agencies across the country totaling $680,000 — enough to provide more than 5 million meals or feed 1,191 families of four for an entire year.
The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County was recommended for the grant by Judy Pirkowitsch, an Ameriprise financial advisor in Santa Barbara.
“Hunger is a serious reality for people in communities across the country, many of whom never expected they’d need help feeding themselves or their families,” Pirkowitsch said. “Ameriprise is committed to supporting nonprofits like the Foodbank because they are dedicated to those struggling with hunger.”
The Foodbank provides nourishment and education through its award-winning programs and a network of more than 300 member nonprofit partners. In Santa Barbara County, one in four people receive food support from the Foodbank. Last year, the Foodbank distributed the food and resources to support 8.5 million meals — half of which was fresh produce.
“Support from organizations like Ameriprise Financial enables the Foodbank to provide resources and tools to end hunger and transform the health of Santa Barbara County,” said Erik Talkin, CEO of the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. “What people are learning and gaining through our health and nutrition programs will benefit them throughout their lives and be passed down for generations to come.”
— Erin Bushey represents Ameriprise Financial.
By Kelly Kapaun for SCEEP | Published on 07.15.2014 5:44 p.m.
A new study from the South County Energy Efficiency Partnership (SCEEP) finds that 76 businesses in Santa Barbara County have collectively saved an estimated 1.15 mWh — or $154,153 in annual electricity expenses — by participating in a free, voluntary countywide Green Business Program.
The Green Business Program of Santa Barbara County offers incentives and assistance to encourage businesses to implement voluntary actions to protect, preserve, and improve the environment, and helps create an energy action plan toward energy sustainability. The program certifies businesses and showcases them so consumers can make informed decisions about what businesses to support.
Businesses such as lynda.com, MedBridge, and Dining Services at the University of California, Santa Barbara have completed measures beyond what current laws require in areas of energy conservation, water conservation, waste reduction and recycling, pollution prevention, and environmentally preferable purchasing.
For example, lynda.com estimates savings of $35,000 a year from energy efficiency upgrades identified during their certification process, including updating its outdoor water irrigation system, starting a commuting solutions program to help employees find carpool partners, and monitoring energy consumption through adjusting settings on computers, printers, thermostats and water heaters. The company also installed weather sensors that turn off sprinklers during rainfall, which decreased water use by 30 percent.
“At each step, we’ve received free guidance from experts in water and energy conservation, which was extremely helpful,” said Dana Jennings, facilities supervisor at lynda.com. “Participating in the program established the beginning of our sustainability plan, and we’ll continue growing and building on our success.”
“Our goal is to make the program a really positive experience for businesses by offering assistance so they can make the connection between doing what’s right for our local environment and what’s best for their business,” said Frances Gilliland, program director of the Green Business Program of Santa Barbara County. “The program includes unique businesses of all different sizes that are already making improvements in sustainability, so we provide the framework to take it to the next level.”
The Green Business Program is supported in part by SCEEP — a partnership of Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas Company, the cities of Carpinteria, Goleta and Santa Barbara, and the County of Santa Barbara. The SCEEP collaborative identifies opportunities for homeowners and businesses to take advantage of rebates, energy efficiency incentives, and other utility programs to save energy and money.
— Kelly Kapaun is a publicist representing SCEEP.
emPower program partners gather for the CentralCoast expansion kickoff. (emPower CentralCoast photo)
Published on 07.16.2014 1:57 p.m.
The County of Santa Barbara recently held a press briefing to discuss enhancements to its emPower energy efficiency program.
The briefing addressed details on expansion to San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties, enhanced program services for homeowners and future goals for emPower’s growth throughout the Tri-Counties.
emPower’s goal is to help homeowners and contractors overcome obstacles to implement home energy improvements. Additionally, the organization aims to support job growth in the local residential construction industry throughout the Tri-County region.
“We have a great deal to look forward to with the Tri-County expansion,” county Supervisor Janet Wolf said. “Not only do we have a more robust team to bring services to more residents, but we have worked hard to make program improvements that will make it easier and more affordable than ever to upgrade old equipment and save energy.”
The expansion of emPower Central Coast is possible through new external funding that aimed to deliver the program’s innovative program offerings to new neighboring communities to help meet statewide energy efficiency objectives. Now Ventura and San Luis Obispo County single family homeowners will be able to take advantage of low-cost unsecured loans offered by local credit unions, high dollar rebates, qualified local contractors, extensive community education, and free energy coach advising and home evaluations.
At the event, emPower announced new program improvements, including more attractive features to the emPower Home Upgrade Loan, increased utility incentives up to $6,500, and new upgrade options that make it easier than ever for customers to choose the right energy improvements for their needs.
“The families living in the homes with energy improvements are experiencing lower utility bills, and better comfort, durability, safety and property value,” countySupervisor Salud Carbajal said. “Every home upgrade project supported by emPower also brings valuable stimulus to our local economy by creating jobs for contractors and encouraging the expansion of green building businesses.”
Since its inception, emPower’s outreach efforts have led to 4,500 interested individuals to engage with the program resulting in nearly 100 completed projects, home energy activity in close to 400 homes, and vital boosts to the local economy through the participation of local contractors and credit unions. emPower envisions that the broader service area and new offerings will bring substantially higher rates of participation and success.
— Amy Bernstein is a publicist representing emPower Central Coast.
BY SHELLY CONE
EmPower Central Coast energy coach Jason Scheurer conducts energy-efficiency tests on locals homes. The incentive-based program recently expanded from Santa Barbara County to include the rest of the Central Coast.
PHOTO COURTESY OF EMPOWER CENTRAL COAST
More people will have access to energy-efficient upgrades, thanks to an expansion of a program that began in Santa Barbara County.
EmPower Santa Barbara County has become emPower Central Coast, expanding its services to Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties as well as increasing the number of energy efficient services it provides.
“We’re really excited to be bringing the program to residents in San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties and increasing energy efficiency education outreach,” said Angie Hacker, emPower Central Coast’s program manager.
The program, which began 2-1/2 years ago, has been fully funded externally with grants from the U.S. Department of Energy. Now state agencies have come aboard.
“Because we had an innovative program already up and running and increasing energy efficiency for so many residents, the state was willing to give us additional funding,” Hacker said.
The California Energy Commission, along with Southern California Gas, PG&E and SEC, will provide the additional funding.
Along with the expansion into the tri counties area, emPower’s additional grant funding allowed the program to increase its utility incentives from a maximum of $4,500 to $6,500 and increased its Home Upgrade Loans.
Hacker said there are roughly 5.8 million homes needing energy-efficient retrofits in the state.
The program provides free energy coaching to help homeowners reduce energy consumption and stimulates the economy by creating jobs through its innovative energy saving solutions that partner with local businesses, Hacker said.
She said emPower Central Coast’s expansion is necessary because affordability is a major obstacle for many homeowners that might want to make energy-efficient improvements. So far, emPower Central Coast has held 100 outreach events in Santa Barbara County.
One of the most popular aspects of the program is the energy coaching, which emPower Central Coast has provided to 250 residents. The program had one energy coach, but the popularity of the free service allowed the agency to bring on a second coach.
The coaching services allow residents to understand how excessive energy consumption costs them money and how upgrades and other energy efficient retrofits can save them money.
When Santa Maria resident Ralph Foster and his wife, Rosalie, bought their current 1,680-square-foot house in 2000 after retiring from the railroad industry, they began to notice trouble with their heating system. For years the couple had trouble with the heating system, but coming from Omaha, NE, it wasn’t a pressing issue for the Fosters.
“The heating system hasn’t been working well since 2000, but here on the coast you don’t need it as much, not like in Omaha,” he said.
A few weeks ago Foster discovered emPower Central Coast when he was searching for a heating contractor online. Out of curiosity he looked into the program. Foster said he had participated in a similar program to install solar panels a few years ago. The positive experience with that program prompted him to participate in emPower Central Coast.
“They go through the house and tell you where the heat is coming in, where it is leaving. Every different aspect you can look at it from, they look at it,” he said.
Foster received a furnace system, efficiency upgrades to the ducting support, and transitioned his lighting to LED lighting to limit some of the energy leaks.
“I learned a lot of things from the contractor. He was willing to explain a lot of things better than some contractors, so I felt good that there was a good explanation for everything,” he said.
That education is a big part of what drives emPower Central Coast to reach out to the community.
“The hope is to get people some education about what’s going on in their house so they can make better decisions on energy efficient improvements,” Hacker said.
Since the program launched, 400 people have made some sort of home energy improvement to their houses, and 100 reported complete upgrades through the program.
For more information about the emPower program, visit empowersbc.org.
Contact freelance writer Shelly Cone through the managing editor at [email protected].
Angelina Betone, 6, enjoys her lunch at the Boys & Girls Club of Lompoc Valley.
As part of its effort to reach out to children in Lompoc, the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is currently offering free, healthy lunches around town this summer.
The Foodbank took over the Summer Food Service Program — called Picnic in the Park — this year when the Lompoc Unified School District was unable to continue it in 2014 due to remodeling efforts, said community programs manager Kyli Gallington. The program is an extension of a national school lunch program put on by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The Foodbank started its temporary program in June and will only be filling in for this summer, Gallington said. The program lasts Monday through Friday and will end Aug. 8. The four sites offering free lunches include Anderson Recreation Center, the Boys & Girls Club of America, the Lompoc Family YMCA at La Honda Elementary and Coast Valley Substance Abuse Treatment Center.
One reason the Picnic in the Park program is so important is because Lompoc has the highest percentage of children experiencing food insecurity in the county, Gallington said.
“Food insecurity is looking at, ‘are you able to have enough food to cover a family?’” she said. “Has anyone had to skip a meal because there wasn’t enough food to feed the entire household? It’s higher in Lompoc than anywhere else in the county. That tells us that, as a foodbank, we really need to target Lompoc for all of our children’s programs.”
The lunches are open to the public, and children up to the age of 18 may attend the Picnic in the Park lunches without registration, Gallington said. Several of the sites have seen consistently high numbers in attendance, she said.
“When this opportunity came up, we were more than happy to step in,” she said. “In the absence of (the LUSD), it’s been great to be able to fill that need.”
Another important aspect of the Picnic in the Park program is ensuring that children are provided healthy food, Gallington said.
“We want to make sure good and healthy food is available,” she said. “We want to make sure there’s a good source of food for all the children in Lompoc. We’re happy to be in Lompoc this summer, and we think kids are enjoying the program.”
Through the Orfalea Foundation, the program will also begin offering free food literacy classes for kids this Friday, Gallington said. The Picnic in the Park sessions generally offer both food and site activities, so the class will accompany the program, she said.
Recreation Manager JoAnne Plummer said many children do not have the opportunity to eat nutritious meals when they are out of school, which was one of the reasons the school district started the program.
“A lot (of them) aren’t getting proper nutrition,” Plummer said. “Whether or not they’re having a healthy lunch, or lunch at all, this fills that gap for both.”
For more information about the Picnic in the Park program, call the Anderson Recreation Center at 875-8100 or contact the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County at foodbanksbc.org.
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