Press releases are posted on as a free community service.

(Santa Barbara, CA) — The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is hosting the children’s End Summer Hunger program Picnic in the Park (PIP) – which provides free, healthy lunches for kids (18 and under) – at 12 locations countywide. PIP will operate weekdays from June 10 to August 2 in Los Alamos and Santa Maria; June 10 to August 8 in Lompoc; June 17 to August 16 in Goleta and Santa Barbara; and June 17 to August 1 in Guadalupe

This summer, all Picnic in the Park locations (except Los Alamos) will offer lunch on-site at parks, libraries, apartment complexes and community centers, where kids can enjoy lunch and participate in fun and educational activities and games. Our location at Creekside Apartments will feature grab-and-go lunches, where children can stop by and pick up meals to take home.

Picnic in the Park locations in south Santa Barbara County include:

  • Estero Park: 889 Camino Del Sur, Isla Vista  (11:30am–12:30pm, June 17–Aug 16)
  • Parque De Los Ninos: 520 Wentworth Ave, Santa Barbara (12:30–1:30pm, June 17–Aug 16)
  • Santa Barbara Public Library 40 E. Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara (12:00-1:00pm, June 17–Aug 16)

Picnic in the Park locations in north Santa Barbara County include:

  • Riverview Townhomes Apartments: (Monday-Thursday ONLY) 230 Calle Cesar Chavez Guadalupe (11am–12pm, June 17–Aug 1)
  • Creekside Apartments: 260 Gonzales Drive, Los Alamos (11:30am–12:30pm, June 10–Aug 2)
  • Central Plaza Apartments (Monday – Thursday ONLY): 200 N. McClelland Street, Santa Maria (12–1pm, June 10–Aug 1)
  • Rancho Hermosa (Monday – Thursday ONLY): 235 E. Inger Dr. St. 102-B Santa Maria (11:30am–12:30pm, June 10–Aug 1)
  • Grogan Park: 1155 W. Rancho Verde, Santa Maria (11:30am–12:30pm, June 10–Aug 2)
  • Minami Park: 600 W. Enos Drive, Santa Maria (12–1pm, June 10–Aug 2)
  • Tunnell Park: 1100 N. Palisade Drive, Santa Maria (11am–12pm, June 10–Aug 2)
  • Lompoc Gardens Apartments (Monday-Thursday ONLY): 304 W. College Ave. Lompoc (12:30PM-1:30PM, June 10- Aug 8)

“We’re excited to provide healthy lunches to children in need throughout the county,” explained Jacqueline Valencia, Foodbank Director of Community Programs and Education. “The Foodbank works closely with school districts to ensure that healthy lunches are readily available to all children in all neighborhoods of Santa Barbara County.”      

The Foodbank expects to serve lunch to nearly 900 children each day and to distribute more than 30,000 meals this summer.

Lunches are served on a first-come, first-served basis as part of the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program. There are no income requirements to participate. All children under the age of 18, regardless of immigration status, are encouraged to attend.

This summer, the Foodbank is working with Unity Meals to provide plant-rich, kid-friendly lunches prepared with fresh ingredients. Lunches will include fresh fruits, veggies and a choice of milk daily.

In addition to healthy lunches free of charge, the Foodbank supports children’s health at Picnic in the Park more broadly by providing nutrition education, including a Foodbank original “FoodBoss” curriculum activity book for every child and sensory, hands-on games including “Fishing for Fiber,” a board game and more.

Every summer, the Foodbank sees an increase in the number of people needing food assistance. Hardworking families must stretch their budgets even further in the summer months to cover additional expenses like childcare and the gap left by the lack of school lunches. This year the need will be unprecedented.

Community members who wish to provide meals to children facing hunger during the summer may donate at

Community members interested in volunteering for Picnic in the Park may inquire by email at to receive more information.

The Foodbank thanks the following partners for collaborating to make Picnic in the Park possible: City of Santa Maria Recreation & Parks Department, City of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Library, Isla Vista Parks & Recreation, People Self Help Housing, Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara, Boys & Girls Clubs of Mid Central Coast and Unity Meals.

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 a network of more than 200 partner agencies, nutrition education programs and food distribution sites operated by the Foodbank and its volunteers. In Santa Barbara County, one in four people receive support from the Foodbank – 38% of the people we serve are children. 

For more information, visit

Get News in Your Inbox


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.