Non-perishable foods and whole turkeys or chickens can be dropped off Nov. 19 in Santa Maria or Goleta.

Non-perishable foods and whole turkeys or chickens can be dropped off Nov. 19 in Santa Maria or Goleta. (Courtesy photo)

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is asking the community to donate non-perishable food items and whole turkeys or chickens to provide healthy meals to neighbors facing food insecurity this winter.

Fill the Foodbank! on Saturday, Nov. 19, is the Foodbank’s semi-annual Drive-thru Food Drive. Community members may drop-off non-perishable food items from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Foodbank’s new Sharehouse, 80 Coromar Drive in Goleta, and at Toyota of Santa Maria, 1643 South Bradley Road,

Most needed items include nut butters, canned protein such as tuna or chicken, beans, rice, whole grain cereals, pasta and canned tomatoes or sauce.

The Foodbank’s goal is to collect enough food to fill one large truck, or 40,000 pounds of healthy groceries. In drive-thru fashion, those donating food never have to get out of their vehicles. Foodbank volunteers will unload donated items, and contributors will be on their way.

“In the quarter that spanned July to September of this year, the Foodbank saw the highest demand for food that we’ve seen since the first three months of the Covid pandemic,” said Kelly Smith, Foodbank community engagement and learning manager.

“We served 111,000 unduplicated individuals last quarter, largely due to inflation that just won’t let up,” Smith said. “Dropping off a bag of food is an easy and very useful way to help ward off hunger for our neighbors in need this holiday season.”

The Foodbank’s 2022 Turkey Drive runs now through Nov. 22 for Thanksgiving delivery, and into December for later holiday delivery. Turkeys and chickens are both welcome donations. The Foodbank aspires to collect 3,000 birds for holiday dinners for those facing hunger this holiday season.

Fresh or frozen whole turkeys or chickens may be dropped off 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday at either Foodbank warehouse, 4554 Hollister Ave., Santa Barbara (next to the Page Youth Center); or in Santa Maria at 490 W. Foster Road.

South County community members may also drop off turkeys at three Montecito churches. 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday Nov. 20 at All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, 83 Eucalyptus Lane, El Montecito Presbyterian Church, 1455 East Valley Road, or Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church, 1300 East Valley Road.

For more information, visit FoodbankSBC.org.