Statistics released by the Department of Social Services on their “Snapshot of Poverty in Santa Barbara County” revealed that 1 in 14 seniors in Santa Barbara County live in poverty. The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County’s Brown Bag program is a resource for seniors in need throughout Santa Barbara County, providing two bags of groceries each month, supplementing food budgets and helping seniors maintain a healthy, independent lifestyle.

The average Brown Bag recipient is a 75-year-old woman living on less than $900 a month, who struggles to pay for housing, healthcare, and basic needs. There are currently 15 Brown Bag distribution locations throughout Santa Barbara Country to assist low-income seniors who qualify.

Inside each “Brown Bag” are nutritious staple foods including high-protein items, canned soups, pasta, cereal, eggs, bread and seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Location sites include: various sites in Goleta, Santa Barbara, and Carpinteria. To find out if you qualify or how to apply, please call 805.967.5741×102.

The program’s 100 plus volunteers, many of whom are Brown Bag recipients, are essential to the success of the program. Volunteers help assemble bags of groceries for over 1,300 seniors countywide and make home deliveries to approximately 400 seniors with health limitations who are unable to pick up their own bags.

Also in the works are plans to expand Brown Bag to include cooking classes, information sessions on nutrition, and gardening education for seniors. For more information about the program, contact the Community Programs Coordinator, Eloisa Chavez at (805) 967-5741 ext. 102 or e-mail

About the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is transforming health by eliminating hunger and food insecurity through good nutrition and food literacy. The Foodbank provides nourishment and education through its award-winning programs and a network of over 330 member non-profit partners. In Santa Barbara County, one in four people receive food support from the Foodbank; over 104,500 unduplicated people of whom 44% are children. Last year, the Foodbank distributed the food and resources to support 8.5 million meals – half of which was fresh produce. For more information, visit


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