Make the Season Bright for Those in Need

With the season of giving upon us, there are a couple of ways to help the less fortunate celebrate the holidays in our community.

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is seeking donations of 3,000 turkeys and chickens  to provide holiday meals to local families who cannot afford them.

“Naturally, we see a huge increase in need for turkeys and whole chickens at this time of year,”explained Paul Wilkins, Foodbank Director of Operations. “hile the Foodbank continues regular operations to meet the day-to-day needs of families and individuals facing hunger, we look to the community to step up to meet this particular demand by helping local families have the holiday meal they deserve.”

The 2019 Turkey Drive kicked off Oct. 28. Birds must be dropped off at the 490 W. Foster Road warehouse by Nov. 24 to ensure delivery in time for Thanksgiving. However, donations for other holidays can be made at the warehouse through Dec. 13.

Community members also have the option of sponsoring holiday meals online. A turkey is $35 and vegetables are $25, while an entire meal is $75. As of press time, 33 percent of the $5,000 goal had been reached. To sponsor a meal, visit

Toys for Tots, a national program run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, has also started its annual campaign for donations. New, unwrapped toys are being collected for children in need at several drop-off locations, including the fire department at 335 Union Ave. Toys must be dropped off by Dec. 16, according to coordinator Soledad Kennedy. In 2018, the program collected more than 6,000 toys that were distributed to nearly 4,000 kids.

“Toys for Tots brings the community together by giving to those whom are less fortunate, and ensuring that a child has a gift for Christmas,”Kennedy said.

The fire department is also accepting non-perishable food items until Dec. 13. Some needed items are: peanut butter, baked beans, oatmeal, canned fruits, soups, pasta and vegetables.

Jamie Guista reporting