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Foodbank of Santa Barbara County Desperate for Donated Turkeys

With only 25 in hand and 2,975 needed, the agency hopes residents and businesses will help it recover from the slow start before next week

Volunteers with the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County are ready to accept donations of turkeys, and other holiday foods and year-round necessities. The Foodbank distributes the turkeys to 264 county agencies.
Volunteers with the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County are ready to accept donations of turkeys, and other holiday foods and year-round necessities. The Foodbank distributes the turkeys to 264 county agencies.  (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk file photo)

By Giana Magnoli, Noozhawk Staff Writer |

Poultry, please!

It’s 25 down, 2,975 to go for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County’s annual turkey drive, and the agency is hoping residents and businesses will help feed hundreds of people this holiday season.

The Foodbank distributes the turkeys to 264 county agencies that don’t have the freezer space to store their own.

Having a slow start is nothing new, but this year’s level is unprecedented, according to development associate Gina Fischer. She said she hopes Santa Barbara residents may not yet be in the Thanksgiving mind-set, and that a reminder will spur people into action.

“If we can’t collect all these turkeys, that’s a lot of nonprofit food pantries and soup kitchens that don’t get them,” Fischer said.

In addition to the bigger birds, the Foodbank has a lot of demand for frozen chickens, as many low-income families don’t have the oven space or know-how to cook a whole turkey, Fischer said.

For $5 per chicken, the Foodbank can buy 4,000 chickens, but it asks the community to help with the turkeys.

Canned food items are being collected as well, through Dec. 31, and holiday foods such as stuffing, cranberry sauce and green beans, and year-round necessities such as rice are most needed.

The holiday food drives are most well-known and bring out generosity in people, and the food collected in November and December is needed to get the Foodbank through the leaner months.

“I just think that the economy’s pretty bad and there’s a lot of uncertainty, even in our county,” Fischer said.

The turkey drive ends Nov. 23 and the holiday food drive ends Dec. 31, though food and monetary donations can be given year-round through the Foodbank’s Web site or warehouses at 4554 Hollister Ave. in Santa Barbara and 490 W. Foster Road in Santa Maria.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

» on 11.16.10 @ 11:59 AM

The SB Foodbank is a real gem in our community.  I have always been impressed with their efficiency in using all the donated resources.

Without our Foodbank, many people in our county would go hungry. And by “hungry” I don’t just mean that little gurgle in my stomach when I miss breakfast.  I mean days and days of eating too little or days and days of surviving on rice, pasta and stale bread.

By hungry, I mean so little vital nutrition, that people’s body’s break down and are subject to disease.

THIS is the time we decide what kind of community we are. Give what you can, and if you can’t give, volunteer at the Foodbank.

» on 11.16.10 @ 09:40 PM

The Foodbank is so great, but maybe the economy is a blessing to help switch to a plant-based diet.  The turkeys will be happy, and your body will thank you!

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