Monday, October 15 , 2018, 6:37 am | Fair 52º

 
 
 
 

Foodbank of Santa Barbara County Sets Table for Thanksgiving, Christmas Donations

Whole Foods Market donates 100 frozen turkeys to launch campaign to help feed 30,000 struggling families through holiday season

Danielle Iversen, a Whole Foods Market team leader, and Scott Hansen, regional director of wealth management of Wells Fargo, helped kick off the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County’s holiday season. Whole Foods delivered 100 frozen turkeys to the nonprofit organization, while Wells Fargo has made a $15,000 matching grant. Click to view larger
Danielle Iversen, a Whole Foods Market team leader, and Scott Hansen, regional director of wealth management of Wells Fargo, helped kick off the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County’s holiday season. Whole Foods delivered 100 frozen turkeys to the nonprofit organization, while Wells Fargo has made a $15,000 matching grant. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

This holiday season, the staff and volunteers of the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County will be helping struggling families by supplying 100,000 pounds of food donations during November and December.

To kick off the campaign, Whole Foods Market donated 100 frozen turkeys to the Foodbank on Friday.

“Providing the community with healthy, nutritious food is one of our core key values,” said Danielle Iversen, a team leader at Whole Foods, 3761 State St. “We are excited to help the community.”

The Foodbank has requested additional food products to assist families in need.

To help the Foodbank reach its goal of 1.25 million meal distributions, community members can donate various food items or meals online via a “Virtual Food Drive” through Dec. 31.

The meal distribution is based on data and trends from November and December 2015, said Jane Lindsey, the Foodbank’s chief development officer.

"We achieved this level of distribution last year," Lindsey said.

It's estimated more than 14 percent of the county is food insecure, she said.

During this peak season, the Foodbank supports 30,000 individuals, families, seniors and children over a two month period.

The nonprofit organization also has set a target of 2,000 frozen turkey donations this year. The deadline for donations is Nov. 18 to ensure the birds can be distributed by Thanksgiving on Nov. 24.

Foodbank facilities will accept items such as frozen turkeys, chickens, rice, canned fruits, vegetables, beans, peanut butter, tuna, oatmeal, cereal, stuffing and cranberries.

Food donations can be dropped off from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays, with extended hours to 5:30 p.m. Nov. 14-18, at either the Santa Barbara warehouse, 4554 Hollister Ave., or the Santa Maria facility, 490 W. Foster Road.

Cash donations will help provide Santa Barbara County families with healthy and nutritious meals throughout the Thanksgiving and Christmas period.

Jamie Nichols, chief operating officer of the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, is all smiles with Friday’s delivery of 100 frozen turkeys from Whole Foods Market in Santa Barbara. Click to view larger
Jamie Nichols, chief operating officer of the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, is all smiles with Friday’s delivery of 100 frozen turkeys from Whole Foods Market in Santa Barbara. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

Lindsey said the organization serves one in four local people who receive support annually through the organization’s 300 partners and programs.

“It’s a peak time of the year for us,” she said. “This is when we distribute the most food. Our goal is based on the need of our partners and programs. We are responding to their need and what the community has asked for.”

The Foodbank’s financial goal is $100,000 this year.

For more than a decade, Wells Fargo has assisted with financial contributions, and this year committed a $15,000 matching grant.

“Our foundation is a strong supporter of helping with the basic needs in supporting the community,” said Scott Hansen, regional director of wealth management of Wells Fargo for Santa Barbara and Westlake Village.

“It’s our pleasure to help inspire the community and give back to those who are most in need during the holiday season.”

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland 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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