Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-24) toured the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County’s new warehouse in Goleta to see where the $1,500,000 he delivered in last year’s federal funding package will help expand capacity to serve Central Coast families in need.
“Last spring, nearly a year ago, I got a request from the Foodbank to help them get federal funding to help get Sharehouse up and running. And I immediately knew how important this would be – because before I was a Member of Congress, I worked with non-profits in this area to tackle one of our region’s most central issues: hunger,” said Congressman Carbajal.“One in six children from Santa Barbara County is food insecure–and that’s why organizations like the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County are so critical. They help families across our region get the food on the table that they need.
“I’m proud to deliver these funds for Central Coast institutions like the Foodbank – because that’s my job. I represent our communities in Washington every week and fight for what they need.”
Carbajal was joined by FBSBC President and CEO Erik Talkin to tour the retrofits underway at the new warehouse that will be supported by this federal award.
“The Foodbank is so grateful for Congressmember Carbajal’s tireless advocacy to procure this funding for the Sharehouse,” explained Foodbank CEO Erik Talkin. “With funding now complete for the purchase and modification of our Sharehouse, we look forward to meeting the nutrition, education and disaster-response and emergency food needs for Santa Barbara County for decades to come.”
Santa Barbara County has the third highest poverty rate in California. But despite this elevated need, the Foodbank’s current capacity to store and distribute food in South Santa Barbara County is only 15% of what is needed to serve the area – causing them to turn away more than 30,000 pounds of fresh produce every week.
The new 57,000 square-foot warehouse, Sharehouse, will allow the Foodbank to store over 750,000 of food, an additional 40,000-80,000 pounds a week, and increase cold storage capacity twelve times larger than their current facility. The new facility will also include a new Nutrition and Education Hub to handle the logistics needed to distribute food and coordinate other services for low-income children and adults.
The new warehouse is expected to be completed and operational by Fall 2023.
After advocating for this and other community projects over the majority of 2022, Rep. Carbajal successfully secured more than $22 million for 14 projects in the congressional spending package that was signed into law in December. Nine of the projects are located in Santa Barbara County.