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Pink, Jeff Bridges Join Celebration in Support of Free Summer Meals for Kids

Actor Jeff Bridges and singer/songwriter Pink with members of the Westside Boys & Girls Club in Santa Barbara.
Actor Jeff Bridges and singer/songwriter Pink with members of the Westside Boys & Girls Club in Santa Barbara. (No Kid Hungry photo)

On May 21, at the Westside Boys & Girls Club, 500 students, their parents and community members gathered to enjoy performances by youth bands and dancers, while eating nutritious food from the Santa Barbara Unified School District’s mobile cafes.

Actor Jeff Bridges and singer/songwriter Pink met with kids and took the stage to enthusiastically lend their support and introduce the youth performances by Girls Rock SB, musical duo Rico & Nico, and dancers from Santa Barbara Dance Arts.

Rep. Lois Capps, county Supervisor Salud Carbajal, Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider, City Council members Cathy Murillo and Randy Rowse, and Santa Barbara school board members Ed Heron and Monique Limon, along with representatives from Supervisor Doreen Farr and Assemblyman Das Williams’ offices participated in the community-wide celebration.

With summer around the corner, the goal of the event was to showcase the 40 places throughout Santa Barbara County where any child can get a free meal. The coalition behind this effort includes the Santa Barbara Unified School District, the Foodbank of Santa Barbara, the Community Action Commission and the City of Santa Barbara, and is supported and inspired by No Kid Hungry national spokesman Bridges, who lives in Santa Barbara with his family.

Those gathered were thrilled with the surprise appearance of Pink, who is committed to making Santa Barbara County a No Kid Hungry county. She was accompanied on stage by her daughter.

"I am so excited to be a part of this amazing community,” No Kid Hungry supporter Pink said. “It means a lot to be able to raise awareness about essential programs like summer meals that help keep our local kids happy and healthy."

In Santa Barbara County, summer is a magical time, but for thousands of children, it’s when hunger is at its worst. Nearly one in four children in Santa Barbara County struggle with hunger, and in the summer only 15 percent of them participate in the 40 free summer meal programs.

“Even in our wonderful community, too many of our children are not getting the meals they need, especially when school is out," Bridges said. "With so many strong partners like the Foodbank, CAC, the City of Santa Barbara and our local schools, we’ve been working together to make sure that more families take advantage of the summer meal programs throughout the county. There are 40 places that any child can get a free summer meal, no paperwork required. Summer is around the corner, and it’s time to celebrate our kids. What a better way to do that than to enjoy delicious food and hear good music from talented youth musicians and Radio Bronco."

In addition to the new radio campaign, No Kid Hungry has developed a texting program to make it easier for families to find out where summer meals are served. Families throughout the county can text SUMMERFOOD to 877.877 to find a summer meals site in their neighborhood. The texting program is supported nationally by the Arby’s Foundation.

— Laura Burton Capps represents No Kid Hungry.

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