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Family Donates 100 Turkeys to Kick Off Foodbank’s Annual Thanksgiving Drive

Wells Fargo Bank announces a $15,000 challenge grant to help the nonprofit provide holiday meals for local families in need

A local family’s November tradition continued Monday with the donation of 100 turkeys, kicking off the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County’s annual Thanksgiving Drive and the announcement of a challenge grant.

Stu and Jan Bartleson of Orcutt delivered the 100 frozen turkeys to the Foodbanks’s Santa Maria warehouse, where they were greeted by Wells Fargo Bank representatives and Foodbank staff.

“This is just so fun for us,” Jan Bartleson said of the family donation that has taken place for several years. 

Wells Fargo is sponsoring the Thanksgiving Drive with a $15,000 one-to-one challenge grant as the Foodbank launches its annual campaign to provide the key ingredient to the Thanksgiving holiday meal for local families in need.

Foodbank representatives are seeking both monetary donations as well as donations of turkeys and chickens.

The goal is to raise $160,000 to support holiday distribution needs and collect 4,500 chickens or turkeys in order to help families carry on the tradition of a warm Thanksgiving meal.

Turkey donations will be matched at $15 each. 

“A Thanksgiving meal signifies a special time to reflect and give thanks,” said Erik Talkin, chief executive officer for the Foodbank. “With support from the community and sponsors like Wells Fargo, Foodbank strives to make this time of year a joyous one for all, especially those who might otherwise have gone without.” 

The Foodbank is well on its way toward this goal with the Wells Fargo challenge grant, representatives said. Other organizations, individuals and businesses are encouraged to participate in the drive in a variety of ways.

Contributions can be dropped off at both Santa Maria and Santa Barbara locations.

Jan and Stu Bartleson, far right, donated 100 turkeys on Monday to the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County's annual Thanksgiving Drive. Also on hand were representatives of Wells Fargo Bank, which is sponsoring the food drive with a $15,000 challenge grant. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

In Santa Barbara, drop-off options are: 

» The Santa Barbara Foodbank facility, 4554 Hollister Ave., from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekdays, with extended hours to 5:30 p.m. beginning Nov. 18.

» Special hours from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Nov. 15 during Saturday Family Day to allow those who can’t stop by during regular weekday hours make a donation.

In Santa Maria, drop-off or donation options are:

» The Santa Maria Foodbank facility, 490 W. Foster Road, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekdays, with extended hours to 5:30 p.m., beginning Nov. 18.

» Special hours from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Nov. 8 during Saturday Family Day to allow those who can’t stop by during regular weekday hours to make a donation. The facility normally is closed Saturday.

» A drive-through event from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Albertson’s parking lot, 2320 S. Broadway.

» From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22, at the Santa Maria Foodbank facility.

Online donations to the Thanksgiving Drive can be made by clicking here.

The Thanksgiving Drive kickoff comes a day after the Santa Barbara Empty Bowls event to benefit the Foodbank.

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County works to eliminate hunger and food insecurity through good nutrition and food literacy, while working with more than 330 member nonprofit partners. 

In Santa Barbara County, one in four people receive food support from the Foodbank, with children being nearly 40 percent of those helped. Last year, the Foodbank distributed the food and resources to support 9.3 million meals — half of which was fresh produce. 

To see updates on the Foodbank’s Thanksgiving Drive campaign or for more information, click here. For more information or to volunteer during the Thanksgiving Drive or holiday season, visit the Foodbank website by clicking here or call 805.967.5741.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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