The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County provided food and other supplies to approximately 300 families at a Christmas Eve distribution event.
The Foodbank partnered with Franklin Elementary School to distribute healthy food items, diapers and at-home COVID-19 tests in a drive-through with the help of volunteers and community leaders.
A steady line of cars was seen between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Friday in front of the Santa Barbara school, where the food was brought to recipients’ vehicles.
“We’re all about feeding people year round, not just right before Christmas,” Foodbank CEO Erik Talkin told the News-Press on Friday. “But this is a time when people need extra help, and we’re glad to be there.”
Among the volunteers were Supervisor Gregg Hart, U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal and members of the school board.
“This is an opportunity for some of our representatives to get involved,” Mr. Talkin told the News-Press. “Representative Carbajal, Supervisor Hart and various members of the school board were able to connect with the Foodbank and their community.”
Other than providing fresh produce, a Christmas turkey and pantry staples, the Foodbank also distributed diapers for those who needed them and at-home COVID-19 tests.
The at-home tests and pantry items were provided by Feeding America and the USDA, while the turkeys were provided by individual community donors.
“The Foodbank is all about food, but you can’t live by bread alone,” Mr. Talkin explained. “These days, something like a COVID test can be very helpful to families.”
According to Mr. Talkin, the exceptional challenges of this year made the Foodbank even more integral to Santa Barbara County, and he was grateful the community could come together to provide for those affected.
“People are really struggling financially, and it’s always healthy food that suffers first,” Mr. Talkin told the News-Press. “So it’s really important for the Foodbank to support people and for people to support the Foodbank.”