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Santa Barbara County Food Rescue : a CEC program

COVID-19 RESPONSE EFFORTS

During COVID-19, we have scaled up to support county-wide charitable food distribution efforts

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, we rapidly expanded our efforts (read more about this expansion in our blog, this article from the Santa Barbara Independent, and press releases here).

Through August 15, 2020 all donations will be DOUBLED by the Community Environmental Council’s Leadership Match Fund so we can continue to help those most in need. DONATE NOW.

WHY FOOD RESCUE MATTERS

About 40% of food produced in the US is never eaten. Instead, it is lost somewhere along the food chain as it is grown, processed, transported, stored, or prepared. When this food is sent to the landfill, it decomposes and produces methane – a greenhouse gas that is 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide. In light of this – and the fact that nearly 50% of low-income households in Santa Barbara County deal with issues of  food insecurity – it is unconscionable that we are throwing away good, healthy food.

When excess, nutritious food is redirected from restaurants, hotels, and supermarkets to charitable organizations serving food insecure populations, the natural resources used to produce that food are not wasted, more people have access to food, and less methane is produced in the landfill. This win-win-win opportunity helps food donors to be more connected to the local community, provides meals for those in need, and reduces the negative environmental impacts of our regional food system.

WHAT WE ARE DOING

Community Environmental Council is coordinating SBC Food Rescue, a collaborative food recovery network for Santa Barbara County with support from private, public, and nonprofit sectors. SBC Food Rescue builds relationships between donors with excess food and charitable organizations throughout the County to help address food insecurity and keep good food out of the landfill.

WHAT THE COMMUNITY IS SAYING ABOUT SBC FOOD RESCUE

It is hard to find the right words to describe this wonderful thing you are doing, not just for Sarah House, but for so many others that are receiving a meal. I am certain that the giver is just as fulfilled as the receiver, if not perhaps even more.

You have found a way to protect those that have always wanted to give, but were concerned with finding themselves in a problem for just doing something good – feeding someone. Thank you for this great service. You are planting some amazing seeds, and touching many more people than you perhaps ever thought you would.

With gratitude,
Paloma Espino, Sarah House Manager

HOW YOU CAN HELP

JOIN THE COVID-19 RESPONSE HUB

CEC is compiling and managing a centralized database that identifies all the players in charitable food distribution, as well as gaps in service. Among other purposes, we are using this hub to help match donors who have surplus food with organizations who can get it to those in need.

Through this county-wide database, any organization supporting charitable food donation, delivery, or distribution during this time is encouraged to share their activities and where they need help. The collected information is available for any organization to view and can be filtered to focus on an agency’s area of interest.

DONATE TO SUPPORT COVID-19 EFFORTS

CEC is working to scale SBC Food Rescue out of its initial pilot into a robust match-making network of food donors and organizations that serve those in need throughout Santa Barbara County. Your support will help coordinate the many good efforts in our region, and connect them with quality rescued food that would otherwise be sent to the landfill. Donations made by August 15, 2020 will be DOUBLED by CEC’s Leadership Match Fund.

SPREAD THE WORD

You can help SBC Food Rescue feed our community members in need by spreading the word about this program to your favorite local restaurants, grocery stores, and other entities with surplus food to give.

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