Foodbank of Santa Barbara County

By on Mar 29, 2023 in Giving

Yardi has long supported The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, which has been the region’s leading food distribution and hunger-relief organization for over 40 years. Company support includes financial contributions, matching grants and frequent staff volunteer opportunities from departments across Yardi.

Foodbank of Santa Barbara County Yardi crew
Western Residential CSD team members volunteered with the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, picking over 3,000 pounds of oranges for the Foodbank to distribute to families.

Established in 1982, the Foodbank’s mission is to end hunger and transform the health of Santa Barbara County with good nutrition. The Foodbank’s strategic plan takes a holistic approach to fighting hunger through healthy food distribution, empowering nutrition and food literacy education, and disaster preparedness and response.

“The Foodbank serves 200,000 unduplicated clients each year with over 10 million pounds of food, 43 percent of which is fresh produce,” shared Jenifer Sanregret, corporate giving manager.

The Foodbank pairs food distribution efforts with various innovative direct-to-client services with programming focusing on food literacy and nutritional education. These programs address food insecurity and hunger by providing access to nutritious food and nutrition education, contributing to food literacy and healthy outcomes.

The Foodbank uses census and school meal data to prioritize programs in low-income and rural areas with high rates of food insecurity. All food and nutrition education programs are offered free cost to children, families and seniors.

Foodbank of Santa Barbara County staff
Foodbank of Santa Barbara County staff.

“The Foodbank is currently three-quarters of the way through our 2022-2023 fiscal year. Based on current trends, we expect to provide 1,500 seniors with 499,500 pounds of healthy foods, including 183,500 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables, by the end of FY23,” said Sanregret.

Funding from Yardi has helped provide healthy food and fresh produce to all food-insecure individuals countywide. Funds are used to make purchases of pantry staples such as rice, beans and whole grains, and fresh produce like apples, mandarins and artichokes.

The Santa Barbara foodbank will be opening a new facility called the Sharehouse/Warehouse in December 2023. A place to share food, education, and hope for the community. The new Sharehouse will cut fuel emissions, reduce food waste, and increase food safety. Additionally, it will allow the Foodbank to store more than 750,000 pounds of food, making 585,000 meals available for immediate distribution and enabling them to accept 80,000 more pounds of food donations each week.

Friendly competition: Yardi Santa Barbara participates in the End Hunger Games

In November 2022 as well as in many past years, Yardi Santa Barbara employees participated in the End Hunger Games campaign, a friendly competition between local companies. Employees worked together to raise money, host internal food drives, volunteer at Backyard Bounty Glean and spread awareness about the efforts throughout the community.

“Your partnership gives us a special sense of gratitude because we recognize the important value of collaboration in meeting the community’s needs.” Sanregret continued, “This tremendous support is very much needed as 38 percent of children in our county are food insecure, and we continue to see an increase in the cost of groceries. We are so grateful for the support from Yardi and the efforts made by all the employees to help us continue our work to end hunger and transform the health of our community.”

Ongoing Santa Barbara County volunteer opportunities

The Foodbank is always looking for volunteers to assist with its programs. Needs include volunteers to sort and pre-pack groceries for distribution at the Santa Barbara and Santa Maria warehouses, delivery drivers for seniors, and educators for children’s nutrition programs.

“Volunteers who work with older adults provide clients with a source of comfort and socialization after two years of sheltering in place. The best way to get involved with the Foodbank is to create an account through Volunteer Hub and “Opt-In” to our emails. We will email you as new volunteer opportunities, and community distributions are added,” shared Sanregret.

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