SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Agriculture rich Santa Barbara County faces a hunger crisis, even with the amount of produce harvested here.
Santa Barbara County is in the top 1% of agriculture producing counties in America
This is Hunger Action Day and the Food Bank of Santa Barbara County said there are serious issues.
Eric Talkin, Food Bank of Santa Barbara County CEO said, “even here we have 200,000 people, half of them who are children, who are food insecure and who don’t have enough healthy food for every day of the month.”
At the Food Share headquarters in Goleta, flanked by staff, volunteers and county leaders, there is a call to action.
Santa Barbara County Supervisor Laura Capps said, “we have the fourth highest rate of poverty in the entire state of California, and California has the highest rate of poverty in the entire country.”
The solution is in reach and it is a top priority.
Capps said, “and there’s no more way to be healthy than to have the right amount of food, good nutritious food. it is that fundamental.”
The Food Bank is in the forefront of responding because in these inflationary times other needs are taking food money away from families.
Santa Barbara County Supervisor chair Das Williams said, “that math doesn’t work really well when you consider most residents spend more than 60 percent of their income on housing. That means there’s not a whole lot left for food, clothing and other necessities.”
Going forward, “we are lucky there’s so much food here but we need to connect that food with the people who need it,” said Talkin.
The next step is educating the public, especially when they receive food through the free Food Bank distributions. “We need to give those people the skills as to how to make use of different vegetables and have them in their diets,” said Talkin.
For seniors, “we are finding that with older adults we work with they are going to need prepared meals that we can bring to them so we see ourselves increasingly producing those kinds of meals and getting them out.”
For more information go to : Food Bank of Santa Barbara County.
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