The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County’s Backyard Bounty Program has celebrated a milestone, gleaning 105,000 pounds of fresh produce.
Since the program’s inception in 2007, volunteers have been busy harvesting the produce from private properties in the Santa Barbara area. From backyard fruit trees to orchards with many rows and a variety of nutritious fruit and vegetables, the program is distributing the bounty to those in need throughout Santa Barbara County.
Foodbank board member and Backyard Bounty coordinator Jim Roehrig is passionate about the program.
“I’m a New Yorker, and when I moved here I was driving around and I saw all these trees,” Roehrig said. “It is absolutely amazing how much produce is out there, and we do not want to let it go to waste.”
People may get involved in the program by donating their own produce or enrolling in the program to have trained volunteers harvest the crop. All fruits and vegetables are acceptable donations and tax-deductible.
“Backyard Bounty is a fantastic program for letting people help the Foodbank in a very personal way. They are giving us fruit from their own trees, which they have watched grow through the year,” Foodbank Executive Director Erik Talkin said. “To share that bounty with those in the community who need help is a wonderful thing.”
— Kerry Aller is the development and public relations manager for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.