November 20, 2020, SANTA BARBARA, CA – The Santa Barbara County Food Action Network (SBCFAN) has connected Santa Barbara County farmers markets, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and Edible Santa Barbara to develop a safe, affordable, and healthy option for celebrating the Holidays – and supporting the County’s food system – during the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, these Network partners are launching an aligned “Stay Home (and Eat Local) for the Holidays” campaign to encourage County residents to avoid large gatherings and enjoy locally sourced holiday meals with their household instead.
The campaign, which launches on Saturday, November 21, sprouted from conversations with County Public Health around how to emphasize the importance of avoiding gatherings during the holidays to help stop the spread of COVID-19. “Stay Home (and Eat Local) for the Holidays” takes that message and elevates it by also encouraging residents to shop local in our safe, outdoor farmers markets for affordable and healthy holiday meal ingredients that support Santa Barbara County farmers, ranchers, fisherfolk, and food artisans,” said SBCFAN’s Executive Director, Shakira Miracle.
Community members are encouraged to visit www.sbcfoodaction.org/holidays or check in at the farmers market info booth for additional information and to pick up a shopping guide (also available on the website). The campaign will operate at the following Santa Barbara County farmers markets on Saturday, November 21 – Thursday, December 31:
- Downtown Santa Barbara Market: Saturdays 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – https://www.sbfarmersmarket.org/sb-and-cota
- Route 1 Farmers Market, Vandenberg Village: Sundays 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – https://www.facebook.com/route1farmersmarket/
- Goleta Market: Sundays 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – https://www.sbfarmersmarket.org/goleta
- Oldtown Santa Barbara Market: Tuesdays 2:45 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. – https://www.sbfarmersmarket.org/sb-downtown
- Solvang Market: Wednesdays 2:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – https://www.sbfarmersmarket.org/copy-of-goleta
The campaign hopes to expand to all county farmers markets by December.
The “Stay Home (and Eat Local) for the Holidays” shopping guide includes suggested budgets for small gatherings, a sample menu with basic preparations, a shopping list with an easy-to-follow market map, and recipes by Edible Santa Barbara. “We hope that this comprehensive shopping guide will show our community how affordable it can be to source in-season, local ingredients to create beautiful, fresh, and nutritious meals,” said Miracle. She added that the guide also includes information about CalFresh benefits. These benefits, funded by USDA SNAP, make it possible for a shopper who wishes to spend $10 of CalFresh benefits at the farmers market to receive an extra $10 to spend on fresh produce.
Each participating farmers market will have staff available to support the campaign. Shoppers can visit the market info booth for assistance with finding specific ingredients, ingredient substitutions, details regarding the CalFresh program and/or advice on recipes.
The sample menu features a variety of seasonal vegetarian dishes with ingredient options to please any palate. Each is designed to be versatile and affordable with a suggested shopping list based on households of four to eight people. Basic preparations of each multicultural menu item are included, but more adventurous cooks may choose to follow the curated recipes provided by Edible Santa Barbara featuring an orange and date salad, winter minestrone, quick pickled beets, and sauteéd broccoli.
Find out more about the campaign at www.sbcfoodaction.org/holidays, or by visiting a local farmers market this holiday season.
Connecting community partners and aligning common objectives to activate this campaign is just one example of how SBCFAN is working year round to advance Santa Barbara County Food Action Plan goals to create a more resilient county-wide food system and a robust local food economy. SBCFAN is asking the community to support their ongoing work by donating directly to their nonprofit this Giving Tuesday, December 1 at https://www.sbcfoodaction.org/donate/.