The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County lost one of its refrigerated food trucks and its contents in an accident on October 15. At an estimated loss of $145,000 in equipment and food, the accident has derailed the nonprofits’s operations for the holiday season. To collect and distribute 3,000 turkeys in time for Thanksgiving feasts, the Foodbank is asking the community to come together to donate money to replace lost equipment. In the meantime, the organization plans to lease a truck for three months.
The accident occurred when the truck driver changed lanes to avoid an unexpectedly merging driver. His box truck overturned on Highway 1 near Vandenberg Air Force Base, damaging 9,000 pounds of food and also a pallet jack. “Losing a truck as useful as ‘Old Reliable’ at this time poses a real impediment to meeting the needs of those facing hunger in our community through our programs and our 300 non-profit partners,” said Director of Operations Paul Wilkins. The driver was not injured in the accident.
In Santa Barbra County, local food production and tourism slows down during the holiday season. Reduced working hours and wages for workers can lead low-income households in the county to face higher food insecurity. To meet the needs to these households, the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County provides food and fresh produce to more than 173,000 people throughout the county.
An anonymous donor has given $50,000 in matching funds to Foodbank, which needs other donations totaling the same amount. So far, the nonprofit has gained $4,000 in donations towards that goal. For the temporary truck lease, Aera Energy has also chipped in to donate funds needed to continue regular operations for three months. For more information and to make a donation, visit www.foodbanksbc.org.