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Online map connects Californians with nearby food resources

Foodbank of Santa Barbara County
Posted at 1:48 PM, May 19, 2022

When the pandemic began, unemployment was impacting many Americans. Now, inflation has taken its place.

In light of rising food costs, the Los Angeles Controller's Office released a tool to help struggling households find resources to put food on the table. The LA Controller's Office says previously there was no centralized way for people to access the resources.

The finished map is a statewide database that compiles more than 1,400 food banks, centers and resources into a searchable format.

All fifty of the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County's distribution locations are included in the map.

Food bank staff told us they have seen new clients increase at least 15% since April.

Receiving food is less complicated that some people expect, Jamie Diggs, Partner Services Manager at the food bank, told KSBY.

"They think they would have to give a lot of proof of identification, proof of income," Diggs said. "But, you know, that is not the case. Once they hear that they don't have to give us any ID or any paperwork, then they're more relaxed."

Local food distribution centers say that while the need for food is increasing, people are also giving back.

"We're really fortunate because Nipomo is a very giving community," Leon Leornas, Director of Operations at Nipomo Food Basket, said. "We have a lot of people that live within the community that have gardens and have orchards. And so they're donating produce almost every day."

The Controller's Office used publicly available information to create the database. They say a team of four people worked to create the database, which required no extra money to compile.

Residents can head to the online map and input their zip code or location to find nearby organizations.