Hunger in the Heart of Agricultural Country

Food. What could be more basic for life?  And yet there are thousands of people in our County who go to bed every night wondering where tomorrow’s food will come from. 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 here 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 health care 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

Committed to Community

Our Strategic Priorities were chosen as a result of our investigation into how the Santa Barbara Foundation could have a meaningful impact on solving today’s most persistent problems. The Strategic Plan was the result of a multi-year process of research, data analysis, interviews, focus groups and board deliberation. Our strategic priorities for 2018-2023 are to work with our partners and donors to maintain a safety net for the vulnerable and to find creative solutions to the problems of working families.

SBF Investments in Action in Food Security

10 Years of Core Support for Basic Needs Grants

BY SAM WATERSTONE | SEPTEMBER 26, 2018 Earlier this month, the Santa Barbara Foundation celebrated 90 years of service in Santa Barbara County. This September also marks 10 years of […]

Blue Sky Center Promotes Community Equity in New Cuyama

BY QUINISHA JACKSON-WRIGHT | FEBRUARY 21, 2019 Founded in 2014 with support from the Zannon Foundation, Blue Sky Center envisions a world with financial, social, and environmental equity. This vision begins […]


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