This holiday season my office sponsored a food drive in support of two local nonprofits. Unity Shoppe in Santa Barbara and FOOD Share in Ventura County help people who are financially strained.

Das Williams

Das Williams

Sharing and donating food during the holidays is a simple gesture for many, but it can make a huge difference in people’s lives.

While many of us are more sensitive to the needs of those less fortunate around the time of the holidays, the reality is that the need is there all year long.

Unity Shoppe in Santa Barbara and FOOD Share in Ventura County provide food and nutrition to the least fortunate among us. Donating healthy food items helps struggling families and individuals make financial ends meet.

When families don’t have to worry as much about putting food on the table, they can use their other resources to pay the rent and provide shelter and a safe home for their children.

As you celebrate your holidays and look to the new year, I respectfully ask you to consider making a donation to better another community member’s life.

During this time of the year, it’s easy to focus solely on ourselves and the needs of our immediate families. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s also easy to forget that a majority of people in our communities are struggling financially and have difficulty making rent and mortgage payments and feeding their children.

This problem is heightened during the holidays.

As happy and joyous as this time of the year is, it can also be very difficult for families struggling to provide for their children with limited resources. It is not our place to judge how or why people arrived in their situation. The fact is that Santa Barbara County’s poverty level hovers at around 18 percent. In Ventura County, about 10 percent of the population lives under the poverty level.

Our community, however, is extremely fortunate with numerous organizations dedicated to helping families in need all year long.

Both Unity Shoppe and FOOD Share in Ventura County are desperately in need of the following items: soup, canned chicken, canned fruit, cereal, baby food, baby formula, dried rice and dried pinto beans.

Please bring any of those items to either of my district offices (addresses listed below), and while you’re in, be sure to share any ideas, issues or questions you may have about any matter you may need assistance with. We’re here to serve you!

See us at 101 W. Anapamu St., Suite A in Santa Barbara or 201 E. Fourth St., Suite 209A in Oxnard.

Happy holidays and Happy New Year.

Das Williams represents the 37th District in the California Assembly.