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Foodbank of Santa Barbara and SLO County working to keep up with high food supply demand

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Posted at 4:18 AM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 15:31:50-04

As the shelter-at-home order continues, the demand for food supplies is on the rise.

The SLO Foodbank recently signed a contract with the county of San Luis Obispo to use emergency funding to purchase $400,000 worth of additional food.

Since mid-March, they have provided a quarter million pounds of food to the community.

The organization's COVID-19 Emergency Operations Manager, Garret Olson, said donations from the community are also vital.

“Because of the purchasing power of the Foodbank, every dollar that is donated to us is turned into four dollars worth of food purchasing power,” said Olson.

As of Wednesday, they said they expect to continue providing support to the community for as long as needed.

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County said its branch learned a lot from the Thomas Fire and Montecito mudslide.

One of those lessons was that there needed to be a plan where in case of an emergency, community members would not have to congregate in one location to pick up food.

“We also learned that across the county we needed to have better communication and partnerships in places in case of a disaster,” said Judith Smith-Meyer, the marketing communications manager for the branch.

The Foodbank has since leased two additional warehouses to store food and thanks to donations is able to replenish stock every 15 days.

“We’re distributing about 80,000 pounds of food per day,” added Smith-Meyer.

Both food banks says they are grateful for the community's support and will continue to work over time to make sure hunger is not an issue in their counties.

For more information on the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, click here.

For more information on the Foodbank of San Luis Obispo County, click here.