A recent donation of $2,000 to the Food Bank Barbara County can produce 32,000 meals for those in need, said Robert Ogden, president of Santa Maria Rotary Club South.
When members of the international service organization could no longer meet in person due the COVID-19 pandemic, they, like many others, met online on Zoom, Ogden said. The first question members asked was: How can we help those in need during this crisis?
“We wanted to focus on the place of the greatest need for the people of this community; and we learned that for most people the immediate need was food,” Ogden said. “We researched various organizations and felt the Food Bank was the best place to meet that need.”
The Food Bank is very efficient with its funds, Ogden said. “For example, for every dollar donated, the Food Bank can supply food for eight meals,” he said. “Our $2,000 can be stretched to produce 1,600 meals. A matching grant from the Food Bank will bring our gift up to $4,000 or 32,000 meals.”
Food Bank communications manager Judith Smith-Meyer said those numbers are correct. “In addition, since April 16, the Food Bank is teaming with the city of Santa Maria and other local organizations to deliver food stables to senior citizens,” Smith-Meyer said.
The Food Bank has some 20 food distribution centers in Santa Maria and Guadalupe alone, Smith-Meyer reports. The centers include numerous churches, the Boys and Girls Club, Alan Hancock College, the Elks Lodge, senior centers, the Salvation Army and other faith-based charities.
About 30 more centers are located in Santa Barbara County. Other organizations contribute food to these centers, as well.
For a complete list of Food Bank distribution sites, visit FoodBankSBC.org. For senior home delivery, dial 211.