Wednesday, May 4 , 2016, 8:39 am | Fog/Mist 54º

Santa Barbara Food Day Event to Showcase Healthy, Sustainable Fare

By Susan Klein-Rothschild for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department |

The public is invited to attend a free Food Day celebration at Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara County’s Back Door Deli from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday featuring local farmers and chefs, food demonstrations, free healthy samples, raffle prizes, garden tours, a composting demonstration and activities that inspire people to “eat real.”

The local event, which is part of a national campaign launched by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, will bring together organizations working on hunger, food access, public health, sustainable agriculture and environmental stewardship. Representatives from the Foodbank, Orfalea Preschool Food & Healthy Habits Initiative, Santa Barbara Master Gardeners, Network for a Healthy California, Promotores de Salud, Sol Food Kitchen, Environmental Education for the Next Generation, Organic Soup Kitchen, Harvest Santa Barbara, Center for Infinite Health and Birke on the Farm will be on hand to talk to visitors.

“Food Day is a fun way for all of us to learn more about health and nutrition,” CAC Executive Director Fran Forman said. “We invite community members to come out to the Food Day celebration and join the conversation about access to healthy, affordable, sustainable food.”

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., serve as honorary co-chairs of the national Food Day advisory committee. Locally, county Supervisors Salud Carbajal and Doreen Farr have co-sponsored a resolution declaring Oct. 24 as Food Day in Santa Barbara County.

Dr. Takashi Wada, director of the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, will deliver opening remarks at the Food Day celebration.

The five priorities of Food Day are: Promote safer, healthier diets; support sustainable farms; reduce hunger; reform factory farms to protect the environment; and support fair working conditions for food and farm workers.

“The celebratory aspect of Food Day will help bring people in, but we want people to go away from Food Day events inspired about how they can change their diets for the better or how they can organize to solve food-related problems in their communities,” said CSPI Executive Director Michael Jacobson, who founded CSPI 40 years ago.

Santa Barbara’s Food Day celebration is jointly sponsored by the Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara County and the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department. All proceeds from CAC’s Back Door Deli support CAC’s Healthy Senior Lunch program, providing healthy meals to more than 600 low-income and homebound seniors throughout Santa Barbara County each day. For event information, call 805.964.8857.

— Susan Klein-Rothschild is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.

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