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Santa Barbara County Food Action Network (SBCFAN) announces the recipients of its 2020 Food System Resilience Grants. Grants totalling $150,000 are given to support the achievement of Food Action Plan goals by contributing to the broader food systems of Santa Barbara County. SBCFAN is awarding the grants in partnership with the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County and the Santa Barbara Foundation.

The nonprofits receiving 2020 Food System Resilience Grants are:

Blue Sky Center Sustainable Living Center

Based in the Cuyama Valley, will receive $14,500 to grow their Cuyama Valley Healthy Foods Initiative, Victory Gardens Program. Learn more about the Blue Sky Center.

Central Coast Regenerative Equipment Sharing Alliance

Based in Lompoc, will receive $21,500 to purchase and share a mobile seed cleaner and no-till planter. This technology will allow for the planting of locally adapted and heritage varieties that suit the climate and culture.

El Centro Santa Barbara

Based in Santa Barbara, will receive $20,000 for their Somos Semillas Garden, a space for community members to engage in place-based learning, public health, nutrition education, and community empowerment.

Organic Soup Kitchen

Based in Santa Barbara, will receive $10,000 to support staffing for their Cancer & Chronic Illness Recovery Program due to COVID-19 causing an increase in people served.

Route One Farmers Market

Based in Lompoc, will receive $25,000 to improve food accessibility by launching the first Mobile Farmers Market as a pilot project in Santa Barbara County.

SYV Fruit & Vegetable Rescue

Based in Santa Ynez, will receive $25,000 to build a mobile solar refrigeration unit and launch field trials in various locations in Santa Barbara County.

St. Mark’s in the Valley

Based in Los Olivos, will receive $9,000 to support the launch of community kitchens.

White Buffalo Land Trust

Based in Summerland, will receive $25,000 to facilitate their Holistic Management Intensive Course which offers a systems approach to the management of livestock operations.

Applications were vetted through a process of research, planning, due diligence and evaluation. The grants were reviewed by an external volunteer committee whose expertise ensures an equitable and impact driven approach to the review process. The maximum award was $25,000, with no minimum requirement.

The 2020 Resilience Grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations throughout Santa Barbara County, providing programs or services that address one or more of the SBCFAN’s 16 Food Action Plan Goals, which fall under 4 Big Actions. Diana O’Connell, Executive Director of SYV Fruit & Vegetable Rescue, shared, “The grant application process was designed in a clever way as it made the applicant so familiar with the Food Action Plan. It also got me to refine and expand my vision.”

Priority was given to organizations that will use the funds to strengthen the Network; take into account external shocks to the food system (such as the COVID-19 pandemic); and/or effectively respond to the urgent needs of their local community that could be replicated Countywide and beyond.

The funding source for the grants is the Santa Barbara Foundation, whose mission is to mobilize collective wisdom and philanthropic capital to build empathetic, inclusive, and resilient communities. Funds will then be distributed by Foodbank of Santa Barbara County in partnership with SBCFAN. Santa Barbara Foundation and Foodbank of Santa Barbara County serve on the Executive Committee for SBCFAN and work closely with Network partners to advance the common goal of building a resilient local food system.

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