Monday, June 18 , 2018, 12:00 am | Fair 56º


Foodbank Taking Bite Out of Summer Hunger

Picnic in the Park programs help fill healthy-meal gap when school is not in session

Foodbank hopes to raise $100,000 by June 30.
Foodbank hopes to raise $100,000 by June 30. (Foodbank of Santa Barbara County)

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County will begin its annual End Summer Hunger campaign on June 1 to raise $100,000 to feed thousands of at-risk children through its Picnic in the Park programs.

The End Summer Hunger campaign, which runs June 1-30, supports the mission of the Santa Barbara County Food Action Plan, and is crucial in closing the summer hunger gap in Santa Barbara County.

The campaign also promotes wellness and healthy eating during summer months.

“Many people find it surprising to learn that a number of families struggle most during the carefree days of summer,” said Foodbank CEO Erik Talkin.

“During the school year, hungry children can rely on the free lunch and breakfast programs to get regular meals during the week, but when school lets out for the summer and the programs do not continue, these children face hunger," Talkin said.

"No school equals no lunch, so we look to the community for support to help the Foodbank feed these children all summer long.”

The Foodbank hopes to raise $100,000 by June 30 to fund 100 percent of the Picnic in the Park program, where they'll distribute 37,000 healthy lunches to 3,255 children throughout Santa Barbara County who are at risk of going hungry this summer.

To ensure summer is fun for every child, the Picnic in the Park program also offers games, physical activities, and enrichment opportunities at all program sites throughout the county.

There are no income requirements, and any child age 18 and under is welcome to come and receive a free, nutritious lunch every weekday this summer. Registration is not required, and meals are served on a first-come, first-served basis.

To donate and get involved, visit

— Carrie Cooper for Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.


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