SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Volunteers like Michael Powers are on the front lines of the fight against hunger.
“Everybody here has to eat and we want to make sure they get a good nutritious meal and the food bank provides that,” Powers said.
The job of the Santa Barbara County Foodbank is making sure no one here goes hungry.
“And also to ensure that fear isn't in the way of an individual receiving food,” said Julia Lara, director of programs of the Santa Barbara County Foodbank.
But this year, food bank staffers noticed fewer children taking advantage of free lunch programs over the summer because of fear from immigration agents.
“About four weeks into our program, we noticed a decline at our sites,” Julia said.
So the food bank got creative on getting food to those who need it, especially those families with children during the summer when the need tends to increase.
“We have conducted alternative efforts in North County and South County to ensure that individuals have the necessary resources including meals.
All the food served to the children are heathy and nutritious meals.
The food bank is now delivering food in different ways.
It has worked with local organizations to better identify where the need is greatest, so food can be delivered closer to those who need it.
Lara is pleased with the results.
“It has been successful. I would say all of our meals have been distributed through our efforts and people continue to come back,” Lara said.
So far, the food bank has delivered more than 30,000 meals and groceries this summer.