Waypoint Church SB family starts Saturday food drives to help Foodbank
With COVID cases on the rise, the Tang family saw a window of opportunity to help the community: Saturday mornings.
Because Foodbank of Santa Barbara County only accepts donations on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Santa Barbara location and 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Santa Maria, the Tangs decided to keep the ball rolling and allow community members to drop off donations on the weekend.
Chris and Rebekah Tang, along with their daughters, Kaitlyn and Kylie, held a drive-up food drive at Waypoint Church SB, 3942 La Colina Road, from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday to catch those who don’t have time to donate during the week.
“Because of COVID and everything, we thought, ‘What can we do?’” Rebekah Tang told the News-Press Saturday morning. “The thing is that the food bank is closed on the weekends, but they always need something. They always need food.”
As the women’s minister for Waypoint Church SB, along with her husband who’s the minister, the Tangs typically hold a service day for the community in January, and saw a need for food.
“If this is good, we’re planning on doing it every month, because I think the weekends are kind of better for people,” Mrs. Tang said. “It (the food bank) is only open from 8 to 3, so even if they’re working from home, that’s kind of tough, especially with kids in school.
“So we’re hoping this will be just a simple thing to support the community.”
On Saturday, about two dozen residents donated to the food drive.
All donors have to do is drive up to the table in front of the church and hand their bags to the Tang family.
Acceptable food donations are the same as the food bank’s recommendations, including: whole grains, such as brown or wild rice, whole grain cereals, whole grain breads, whole wheat or brown rice flour, quinoa, buckwheat, barley, cornmeal and corn or whole wheat tortillas; canned, low-sodium soups, stews, chili and canned tuna or salmon; plant-based proteins, such as peanuts, almonds, nuts, nut butters, dried lentils, beans or peas, canned black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, low-sodium vegetarian chili, sunflower, pumpkin or sesame seeds; canned fruits and vegetables, fruit juice or water or dried fruit; fresh produce; and/or coffee/tea, dried spices and olive or organic canola oils. Donors can also make monetary donations on the website.
The Tangs will then deliver the food to the Foodbank on Tuesday after Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Foodbank volunteers and staff will distribute it accordingly.
“I think that there’s a lot of food insecurity, even in a very fancy place like Santa Barbara,” Mrs. Tang said. “I work with students at UCSB and they are still struggling with food. It’s not like rent has gotten cheaper or anything has changed.
“I think this is a practical way to really support our neighborhood and show love to our neighbors, and whether people say that they need it or not, the fact that it’s going to be available is good. That’s our goal.”
She added that COVID-19 restrictions make it difficult to help in the ways they typically do, such as going door-to-door.
“There’s so many things we want to do, but at least this will provide the locations food so people can get food,” Mrs. Tang said. “I hope this will at least bring some encouragement to the neighborhoods. That will be the end goal for me.”
To learn more about the Foodbank and ways to donate, visit foodbanksbc.org. To learn more about Waypoint Church SB, visit waypointsb.com.