Friday, October 9 , 2015, 11:46 pm | Fog/Mist 70º

Foodbank of Santa Barbara County Receives Four National Grants

By Flannery Hill for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County |

National nonprofit Feeding America recently awarded four grants to the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, representing funding from four prestigious national organizations and supporting specific Foodbank programs.

The AARP Foundation granted funds to expand the Foodbank’s Brown Bag program, which provides groceries and fresh produce to low-income senior citizens. Throughout the grant funding period, the Foodbank is seeking to expand the number of participating unduplicated seniors to 1,780 and increase total pounds of nutritious food distributed to 818,800 pounds, a 5 percent increase in the next year.

The National Dairy Council’s Nutrition Initiative granted funds to expand Kid’s Farmers Market, one of the Foodbank’s Feed the Future continuum of fresh produce distribution, nutrition education and health transformation programs serving low-income children from birth through high school. The funds will also go towards implementing the “Foods to Encourage” (F2E) standard of measuring nutritional quality of food distributed through the Feeding America network. F2E is an innovative way to source and distribute healthier foods and promote nutrition and wellness in communities served.

Proctor & Gamble granted funds to expand the Foodbank’s award-winning Healthy School Pantry program, a monthly health fair now held at seven locations countywide that provides nutritious food, fresh produce, nutrition education and food preparation demonstrations to children and families from 18 local school communities.

The David Tepper Charitable Foundation Inc. granted funds for a replacement vehicle for Foodbank’s South County programs.

“It is vitally important that food banks across America have the proper equipment and resources needed to wage the fight against hunger and poverty,” said David Tepper.

The grant allows Foodbank to upgrade South County pickup and delivery capabilities with a new Hino 22-foot refrigerated box truck. This truck will more than double Foodbank’s single-load capacity as compared to the truck it replaces. It will also allow Foodbank to carry frozen product for extended periods at a zero-degree temperature setting. This also extends to local produce grower donation pickups and much greater capacity to deliver product to program distribution sites in one trip.

Foodbank thanks Feeding America and these important sponsors, whose contributions will support programs that have the greatest impact on transforming the health of the low-income population in Santa Barbara County.

— Flannery Hill is a publicist representing the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

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