Thursday, November 26 , 2015, 12:23 am | Fair 44º

Foodbank Launches ‘Share Your Lunch’ Campaign to Stop Summer Hunger

By Candice Tang Nyholt for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County |

For many, summer is a carefree time to look forward to — a time when families vacation, barbecue at the beach and enjoy the warm weather together. Unfortunately, for thousands of children in Santa Barbara County, summer vacation means the end of the free and reduced-price meals they receive during the school year. In summer, many working families face the highest level of food insecurity, leaving children, seniors and families without enough nutritious food during these months.

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County announces the “Share Your Lunch” Campaign starting Thursday and running through May 31. The campaign enables the community to help close the summer food gap by donating the amount one might typically spend on lunch (for a day, week, month or more).

The goal of the campaign is to raise $50,000 to stop summer hunger for working families, kids and seniors in need.

“We are excited to offer such an easy way to ensure the health of our communities during summer, when other resources are much scarcer,” Foodbank CEO Erik Talkin said. “Together we can make sure local children, seniors and working families will not go hungry this summer.”

One in five Santa Barbara children are at risk of hunger. And this summer, 84 percent of those children who receive nutrition assistance during the school year won't have access to the nutritious meals they need.

The Foodbank is making it easy to participate and for the community to invite friends and colleagues to join in the campaign:

» Make a donation: “Share Your Lunch” through a secure online donation by clicking here.

» Share photos: Take a photo of your own lunch at home, work or a local restaurant and share your photo via Facebook (Foodbank SB), Instagram (@FoodbankSBC) and Twitter (@FoodbankSBC).

» Tag local businesses: Inspire others by tagging your local grocery store, business or restaurant where you are having lunch. Include #ShareYourLunch.

» Spread the word using the Online Toolkit by clicking here, where participants can share the campaign with friends and contacts using social media posts, memes and email messages.

Other ways to get involved:

» Challenge your colleagues to donate. Take a group photo and share on social media.

» Collect donations at your church, civic group or club and mail/deliver the funds to Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

» Have your donation matched by your employer.

» Encourage your employer to sponsor.

For more information about the Share Your Lunch Campaign or to sponsor, click here or call 805.967.5741 x119.

— Candice Tang Nyholt is a publicist representing the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

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