After one of its refrigerated trucks (model-year 2008) was totaled in a non-injury accident on May 11, the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is seeking the community’s support to replace the lost vehicle, and to buy an additional new one to expand service to the community with a larger fleet.

“During our COVID-19 emergency response, the Foodbank has more than doubled the food we distribute, is serving 65% more people than usual, hired 15% more staff, has had 20 National Guard troops provide 6,000 hours of service, along with hundreds of new community volunteers,” said Erik Talkin, Foodbank CEO.

“We’ve acquired two additional warehouses and two refrigerated trailers to expand our storage capacity, but we were using the same trucks as we do for our normal operations,” he said. “The truck accident highlighted the need to expand our vehicle fleet, to meet this crisis as well as future emergencies.”

The Foodbank has raised enough to activate a $50,000 matching grant from Yardi Systems, Inc. Online donations, with the matching grant and a $20,000 insurance payout for the totaled vehicle make it possible to replace the lost truck.

Additional funds need to be raised to cover the following costs:

$120,000 for a new refrigerated truck for expanded food distribution needs

$12,500 for protective truck wraps

$6,500 to replace 4,600 lbs. of food lost in traffic accident

The total that remains to be raised is $139,000.

The Foodbank acquired two refrigerated semi-trailers through Feeding America (the nationwide network of 200 food banks of which Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is a member). The trailers only serve as stationary cold storage; they do not provide any additional transportation.

Community members may donate to support the truck purchase campaign by visiting

Following are details about the accident:

On the morning of May 11, a 21-foot, 2008 International refrigerated truck belonging to the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County was totaled in a single-vehicle, non-injury accident.

The truck was southbound from the Foodbank’s Santa Maria warehouse to the Lompoc branch of the United Boys & Girls Club with supplies for the SAFE Food distribution. While making a left turn at the intersection near the entrance to Vandenberg AFB, the truck tipped over onto its right side and collided with a traffic light post.

The truck’s driver and passenger were National Guard troops deployed with the Foodbank.

Trip logs indicate the truck never exceeded speed limits and contents were under net weight, which means the cargo was below capacity load. The truck was carrying about 4,600 lbs. of mixed produce, rice, beans, cheese, milk, cereal and water valued at $6,500.00. 

For more about the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, visit