Foodbank to hold food and cookware drive
The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is unable to hold its annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive due to the pandemic, so it’s asking for the community’s help to fill a gap of about 80,000 pounds of donated food.
To address the need, the Foodbank is holding its bi-annual Fill the Foodbank! drive on Saturday.
But this year, it is a drive-through food and cookware drive.
“One of my colleagues brought it to my attention that we have quite a few clients who don’t even have the most basic cooking utensils or cooking tools to actually prepare the food we’re providing them. So we thought that this was a great opportunity to tie it in with Fill the Foodbank! and help make sure that, not only are we providing our clients with the food to nourish them, but also the tools to nourish them,” Jordan Jenkins, the food drive’s team leader, told the News-Press.
The cookware drive aims to help those community members who have recently become homeless or are in temporary or transitional housing, potentially as a result of the pandemic. Acceptable cookware items must be clean, new or gently used, and include rice cookers, toaster ovens, pressure cookers, crock pots, electric kettles, can openers, hot plates and more. Microwaves will not be accepted.
In addition, the Foodbank is experiencing an extreme shortage of non-perishable food items, in particular nut butters, whole grain cereals and pasta, canned tomatoes and sauce, canned protein and tuna. But the Foodbank is accepting all kinds of non-perishable food items.
Ms. Jenkins added that the Foodbank began serving elderly populations during the pandemic, and many of them requested Ensure nutritional shakes.
The goal of the Fill the Foodbank! drive is to receive 20,000 pounds of donated food.
“It’s no news to anybody that the past year and a half has been really a struggle for many people in the Santa Barbara community,” Ms. Jenkins said. “Just in the past year and a half, we’ve seen the need grow so much.”
To be specific, she said the Foodbank has doubled the amount of food it would normally distribute in the same time period. Stamp Out Hunger typically brings in between 50,000 and 70,000 pounds of donated food.
Donors who come Saturday to the drive-through won’t have to step foot out of their cars.
They just have to load their supplies in and come to the site. Volunteers will be ready to go and unload them in a contactless manner.
Fill the Foodbank’s food and cookware drive will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Foodbank’s Santa Barbara warehouse, 4554 Hollister Ave., adjacent to the Ben Page Youth Center.
“We really need donations. We need food. Our community members need food,” Ms. Jenkins said. “So any little things that a person can donate go a long way and help us ensure that no one goes hungry in our community.”
For more information, go to foodbanksbc.org.