SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — California and Santa Barbara County are in their seventh week of a stricter stay-at-home order.
Governor Gavin Newsom announced the order to limit the spread of COVID-19. Health officials hoped it would prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. However, more than 65% of the state’s population live in regions with 0% ICU availability.
The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County has adapted based on these new restrictions. In March they started with more home deliveries, before moving to pickup locations during the summer. Now the food bank is back delivering food to people's homes who are low-income and at-risk. The California Air National Guard is helping with the delivery.
Erik Talkin, Foodbank of Santa Barbara County CEO, said the organization has delivered nearly three million pounds of food to 60,000 households since the beginning of the pandemic.
He says the need is only growing.
“We have seen the need and the numbers dramatically increase in the last couple of months,” said Talkin. “The new stimulus package is unlikely to do much to help people’s food insecurity. So we’re seeing the needs spiking in the months of January and February.”