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Foodbank Schedules Work Day for Community Leaders

The Foodbank will open its facilities in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria on Sept. 9 for Leadership Day

On Sept. 9, business, political and religious leaders are encouraged to join the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County in recognizing the more than 35 million Americans and 135,000 county residents who don’t know where their next meal will come from. Occurring during National Hunger Action Month, Leadership Day promotes awareness and action to tackle the problem of food insecurity.

On that day, the Foodbank will open its two facilities, in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria, to hundreds of community leaders and encourage them to roll up their sleeves, flex their muscles and participate in the work of distributing millions of pounds of food to its network of nonprofit and charitable agencies. Participants are urged to spend one hour at the Foodbank.

“The need for help is continuous to successfully provide safe, nutritious and wholesome food to hungry people in our county. We manage a large operation. We supply the majority of food used by charities and nonprofits throughout the county,” Executive Director Erik Talkin said. “Our tremendous purchasing power and affiliation with the national organization Feeding America allows us to purchase and safely sort and store millions of pounds of safe and healthy food at a very low cost. To best understand this effective and efficient system of food distribution, it is best for folks to come directly to us and participate.”

The Foodbank serves more than 220 local charities and nonprofits. Nearly half of the people served by the Foodbank are younger than 18. In 2008, the Foodbank distributed more than 8 million pounds of food of which nearly 2 million pounds was fresh produce.

Hunger Action Month is organized on a national level by Feeding America and includes events across the United States that directly benefit hunger-relief efforts.

— Kerry Aller represents the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

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