End Hunger Games

By on Jun 26, 2018 in Giving

The End Hunger Games have been a Foodbank of Santa Barbara County tradition for five years. This winter holiday campaign adds a dose of friendly competition to local corporate philanthropy. Each year, 10-15 corporate teams compete to be crowned as the biggest givers. Yardi has participated in the End Hunger Games since its inception.

“We use Yardi activities as examples to inspire the other teams to go above and beyond,” says Nathalie Keller, Corporate Giving Manager at the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. “They have several teams within the company. They volunteer regularly, donate food, post on social channels, and plan events like their holiday boutique and company party to benefit the Foodbank.”

Yardi emerged as the victor of the fifth annual End Hunger Games, followed closely by other fine local organizations:

First place: Yardi – Total Points: 1466

Second place: Evidation Health  – Total points: 1457

Third place: FastSpring – Total Points: 1327

The vast outpouring of corporate support, coupled with donations from the community, could not have come at a better time. The Thomas Fire, one of the largest and costly in the state’s history, caused widespread dislocation and loss of property. For the Foodbank, the efforts to provide for daily community food needs were made even more challenging by this disaster.

Keller explains, “Children and families experienced increased food insecurity during this time of crisis. Many were unable to work because businesses had shut down or reduced work hours during the emergency. This meant that hourly employees faced sudden loss of wages. Owners of businesses connected to tourism and recreation, along with service providers and vendors, experienced immediate loss of income.”

As soon as the UCSB American Red Cross shelter opened, the Foodbank began providing food, water and snacks to evacuees. Two days later, when many of the 300 partner agencies who normally distribute Foodbank food were suspending programing because of staffing issues, the Foodbank created four emergency food distribution sites to serve high-need areas to ensure that families, children and seniors had access to healthy food as recovery began.

The Foodbank faced challenges on another front: as schools closed, 10,246 children who would normally receive free or reduced lunch at school were without breakfast or lunch. School-aged children missed a total of 20,492 meals every day.

“To curb the need, the Foodbank distributed healthy, single-serving lunches to children and families that included items such as turkey and ham sandwiches, fresh fruits and vegetables, and milk through the beginning of the year,” says Keller.

The Foodbank met the formidable task with the help of End Hunger Games corporate sponsors as well as the support of the community. Between December 4, 2017 through January 31, 2018, the Foodbank served 12,487 unduplicated clients with 363,475 meals.

“Yardi’s support for the Foodbank kept food on our shelves and distribution sites running in Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, and Goleta. With the donations, the Foodbank created nearly 250,000 additional meals for Santa Barbara County residents,” says Keller.

Join Yardi in the quest to end hunger in Santa Barbara County. Support the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County today.