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Local Girl Scouts Holding Holiday Food Drive to Benefit Foodbank

The local Girl Scout service unit will be holding a holiday food drive this month.

On the weekend before Thanksgiving, Girl Scouts from Goleta to Carpinteria will be at neighborhood Vons supermarkets accepting donations on behalf of the Foodbank of Santa Barbara.

Mother-daughter food drive organizers Michelle and Clare Kelly said the goal of the drive is to collect more than 3,000 pounds of food to help make the holiday season bright for local families in need this year.

“I’ve done a food drive with my Girl Scout troop the past eight years,” Senior Girl Scout Clare Kelly said. “It was so much fun that I thought other troops in our service unit might like to participate and help even more people in need. Last year, the whole service unit participated in the holiday food drive and it was a huge success.”

In 2013, 130 Girl Scouts and leaders from 18 troops collected 3,257 pounds of food in 20 hours.

“The goal of last year’s food drive was a ton — 2,000 pounds,” troop leader Michelle Kelly said. “Since we collected 3,200 pounds last year, the girls set a goal of 3,300 pounds for this year.”

On Friday, Nov. 21, six troops will be collecting donations at the Montecito Vons, the Vons on Fairview Avenue in Goleta and the Vons in Santa Barbara’s La Cumbre Plaza. On Saturday, Nov. 22, 16 troops will be collecting donations at the La Cumbre Plaza Vons, the Vons on Fairview Avenue, the Carpinteria Vons and the Vons on Turnpike Road in Goleta.

The programs receiving assistance from the Foodbank include food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, after-school and senior feeding programs. Items needed include olive oil, fresh produce, peanut butter, canned or dried fruit, canned vegetables, canned stew and vegetarian chili, cornmeal, tortillas, canned meats, fruit juice, pasta, rice, beans, tuna, soup, bread, cereal, spices, coffee and tea.

For those unable to make it to one of the five Vons locations, donations can always be dropped off during regular weekday Foodbank hours (7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) at 4554 Hollister Ave. in Goleta. The Foodbank will also accept checks. For every dollar donated, the Foodbank can provide eight healthy meals for people.

For more information about the food drive, contact the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County at 805.967.5741.

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is transforming health by eliminating hunger and food insecurity through good nutrition and food literacy. The Foodbank provides nourishment and education through its award-winning programs and a network of more than 330 member nonprofit partners. In Santa Barbara County, one in four people receive food support from the Foodbank; more than 140,575 unduplicated people of whom 36 percent are children. Last year, the Foodbank distributed 9.3 million pounds of food – half of which was fresh produce. Click here for more information.

The Costa de Oro Service Unit serves all Girl Scout troops from Carpinteria to Goleta, providing support to more than 65 troops, approximately 700 girls and more than 300 adults. Costa de Oro is one of the largest service units in the Central Coast Council, which serves the six counties of Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura. Click here for more information.

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