Teen brothers Jacob and Joseph Mansbach have spent the last eight summers competing in South Coast triathlons to raise money for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. They recently reached their longtime goal to raise $100,000 and are on their way to providing a million meals.
“This is an amazing milestone,” said Jacob, a 15-year-old high school sophomore at Anacapa School. “The Foodbank has allowed us to inspire so many kids and families to volunteer and donate. Let’s hope that we can keep going strong for Santa Barbara.”
“It’s people that are awesome,” added Joseph, a 13-year-old 8th grader at La Colina Junior High. “They kept us going and made it possible to reach our goal of feeding kids.”
For all their hard work — Jacob started competing when he was just 8 years old, while Joseph got started at 7 — the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors honored the brothers with its Community Service Award at a ceremony on December 6.
The Mansbachs have also taken on full responsibility for the monthly Saturday Family Day volunteer program they founded and have led with their parents since 2014. Once a month, families with children of any age can volunteer at the Foodbank’s Santa Barbara warehouse to sort groceries, separating overripe or damaged produce from what’s still good to distribute. “I’m thinking of starting clubs in schools to get more kids involved in Saturday Family Day,” said Jacob.
In other Foodbank news, Bank of America recently awarded the organization $50,000 in grant funds and an opportunity to participate in leadership training on topics ranging from human capital to financial sustainability. The award is part of the bank’s new Neighborhood Champions program, which helps area nonprofits “take their work to the next level.”
The Foodbank provides food to more than 100,000 people in the county — 78 percent reside in North County, and nearly 40 percent are children. Demand is so high that the organization recently opened a third emergency distribution site. For more information and to donate, visit foodbanksbc.org.