Hunger in the Heart of Agricultural Country

Food. What could be more basic for life? And yet thousands of people in our County go to bed every night wondering whether they’ll be able to eat or feed their families tomorrow. It is no small irony that in this area that knows such abundance-which produces the food that feeds so many others around the country–that tens of thousands of people do not have access to nutritious, affordable, healthy food on a consistent basis. Food insecurity means having limited, uncertain, or inconsistent access to the quality and quantity of food necessary to live a healthy life.

Data provided by: 2017 Santa Barbara County Children’s Scorecard; 2017 Santa Barbara County Agricultural Production Report.
Despite its many assets, Santa Barbara County has the third highest poverty rate in California. Approximately ten percent of our population is estimated to face food insecurity. Children bear the brunt of this as about a third of those served through the Food Bank are under eighteen. The cost of hunger and food insecurity is real and measurable. In addition to causing suffering, it impacts our healthcare costs, the educational attainment of our children, and the ability for people to be strong and productive members of society.

Taking Action

Whether in times of crisis, or on a daily basis, Santa Barbara County’s ongoing challenges include assuring that everyone has access to sufficient, nutritious food. Addressing food insecurity among our most vulnerable populations has been a primary focus for the Santa Barbara Foundation. Through the Santa Barbara Food Action Plan, we have been working to enhance our food system and make it more sustainable and accessible.

If you are interested in contributing to the solutions, we welcome your partnership and appreciate your support.

Make a Gift Food Community Grant Program

SBF Investments in Action in Food Security

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