Holiday campaign continues through Dec.30
Santa Barbara County Food Action Network’s “Stay Home (and Eat Local) for the Holidays” campaign is offering a safe, affordable and healthy option for celebrating the holidays during the stay-at-home order.
The campaign was launched before Thanksgiving in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Health Department, countywide farmers markets and Edible Santa Barbara. It will continue through Dec. 30.
“Due to the regional Stay at Home Order that went into effect on Monday, our local food system faces even greater pressure. The need to support our county’s farmers, ranchers, food artisans and fisherfolk is more critical than ever,” said Shakira Miracle, SBCFAN’s executive director.
“The Stay at Home and Eat Local Campaign provides a fun and practical way to encourage our community to shop local this season by creating nutritious and beautiful meals for their loved ones during the holidays.”
The campaign provides a shopping guide complete with suggested budgets for small gatherings, a sample menu with basic preparations, a shopping list with an easy-to-follow market map and recipes by Edible Santa Barbara for residents to plan a fresh and nutritious holiday meal.
The community is encouraged to get involved by:
— Shopping at participating farmers markets.
Checking in at the farmers markets information booths and getting a copy of the shopping guide or downloading it from www.sbcfoodaction.org/holidays.
— Asking farmers market staff for assistance in finding an ingredient or seeking advice on recipes or substitutions.
Participating markets include:
— SBCFMA Downtown Santa Barbara Market: Saturdays 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. www.sbfarmersmarket.org/sb-and-cota
— Route 1 Farmers Market, Vandenberg Village: Sundays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. www.facebook.com/route1farmersmarket/ SBCFMA
Goleta Market: Sundays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. https://www.sbfarmersmarket.org/goleta.
— SBCFMA Oldtown Santa Barbara Market: Tuesdays 2:45 – 6:30 p.m. www.sbfarmersmarket.org/sb-downtown.
— SBCFMA Solvang Market: Wednesdays 2:30 – 6 p.m. www.sbfarmersmarket.org/copy-of-goleta,
SBCFAN has connected with new partners to grow the campaign, including Apples to Zucchini Cooking School and its family-friendly Homemade Holiday Gift Recipes, which showcase ingredients found at the farmers market and include holi-date bites, spiced nuts, overnight oats and granola. The recipes are available at the market information booth, along with the Stay Home (and Eat Local) Shopping Guide.
Nancy Martz, Apples to Zucchini executive director, sees the campaign as an opportunity to encourage households to cook a holiday meal together and nourish friends and family with handmade edible gifts.
“Eating is an opportunity to cultivate community, and there is no better way to do that than over a shared meal,” she said. “Take time to set the table with pretty napkins, light candles, use festive plates, put away the phones and turn off the TV. If your kids are old enough to help with dishes, let them take part in cleaning up.”
Susan Liles, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department director of nutritional services, reiterated why the campaign provides a festive alternative to large holiday celebrations. “Santa Barbara County’s agriculture is an integral part of our community. During these times, we can continue to support each other by following the COVID-19 procedures and shopping locally.
“The farmers markets offer a safe location to shop and follow procedures by the Public Health Department. Stay home, eat local and enjoy a farm-fresh, nutritious meal with your household.”