Esteemed local chefs are teaming up with nonprofit senior services from the Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara County, the Buellton Senior Center and the Solvang Senior Center to raise money and awareness about feeding our oldest faces of hunger in the community.
The event will incorporate the excitement of seeing food demonstrations by celebrity chefs, live music, wine and beer tastings, a silent auction and a gourmet lunch. The proceeds will provide meals and services for needy seniors in Santa Barbara County.
“Summer is about relaxing and enjoying our friends and family, and good food is always plentiful on these occasions. But summer can also be hectic; it’s easy to lose sight of some of the basic needs and support systems that many in our community struggle with on a daily basis,” said Leonardo Curti, executive chef at Trattoria Grappolo. “Being a chef, I’m thrilled to be participating in an event like Chefs’ Picnic in the Park. It is exciting to be able to work toward ending hunger right here in my own community.”
Thousands of seniors are facing hunger in the county. The number of seniors facing the threat of hunger and poverty has increased 25 percent in the past five years, according to recent census findings. This data sheds light on a problem that is often ignored, hidden and underreported. As poverty has risen among the elderly in Santa Barbara County, so has the demand for local senior meals and services.
“More seniors need our services every day,” said Holly Carmody, development director for the CAC. “This increase in demand comes at a time when similar programs across the county are struggling. Our goal for this event is to be able to raise enough funds to feed over 10,000 meals to seniors in Santa Barbara County. And, provide a community event that is fun and has extraordinary food!”
Brian Carroll, executive director for the Solvang Senior Center, added: “Chefs’ Picnic in the Park will be a wonderful event that is filled with fun, good food and good giving. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with agencies that are working towards the same mission to help seniors in the county maintain their health and independence.”
Tickets to the inaugural Chefs’ Picnic in the Park are $50 and can be purchased at the event or in advance at 805.964.8857 or www.cacsb.com.
— Tami Snow represents the Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara County.