SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County has made a new plan to replace an annual drive with the U.S. Postal Service.
Under normal years, local letter carriers participate in a Stamp Out Hunger Letter Carriers Food Drive. Special bags are left at mail boxes and residents then fill them up for the carrier to take away.
This year with COVID-19 rules still in place, that drive is not being held.
It creates a gap of 80,000 pounds of donated food.
Saturday the community is being asked to come by the Foodbank locations in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria to drop off bags of food to make up for the cancelled drive.
Warehouse Manager Jesus Lopez said, specific dry and canned goods can meet many needs and are in big demand. "Peanut butter, cereal, shelf stable items like canned goods that go a long way especially protein items like tuna, salmon, chicken and canned chicken."
He also says whole chickens and turkeys are accepted and will go right into the on site coolers.
This year there is also a request for new or lightly used cookware. The Foodbank has found that many community members who receive food, do not have adequate cooking supplies.
This includes rice cookers, toaster ovens, pressure cookers, crock pots, electric kettles and utensils. They are not requesting microwave ovens.
The Food Bank says the need for food assistance is still very high, even with the pandemic appearing to be less of a crisis these days. Many people are still out of work, on a thin budget, and the food help is vital to their financial and physical health.
"Every little bit helps. One bag, ten bags, anything you want to bring to help out. It is a huge need," says Lopez.
Extra help from staff and volunteers will be on hand for the Saturday food drive, including members of the National Guard.
The drive-thru hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more information go to: Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.