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Partners: Allan Hancock CollegeBlue Sky CenterCommunity Environmental CouncilIsla Vista Youth ProjectsSt. Mark’s in the ValleySanta Barbara Middle SchoolSanta Barbara County Public Health DepartmentVeggie Rescue
Food Action Plan Goals activated: 2, 4, 5, 6, 10, 13, 15

Objectives: The following objectives are designed with a full countywide perspective.
The following objectives are designed with a full countywide perspective:

  • Complete and Launch a kitchen toolkit, an information database that consolidates resources and experiences from and for food hubs for public accessibility and distribution.
  • Identify at least 25 potential locations for new food hubs throughout Santa Barbara County.
  • Target 4-6 active and/or potential community kitchens, to identify resource needs, active and potential communities served, deepen and accelerate community collaboration and kitchen operations.
  • Establish Community Food Access Centers that serve as place-based, food-centric neighborhood revitalization efforts, and which unite multiple functions (including education) in one or nearby locations.
  • Secure at least 4 organizations committed to adding programming, which would qualify them as a new food hub, and work with them to create implementation plans.
  • Outline and promote the various program opportunities that could be implemented at a food hub such as charitable feeding, food repurposing, and nutrition education.
  • Establish 5 new working groups.
  • Promote SBCFAN membership, and the inclusion of food hubs focus when signing up as a member, to ensure food hub work continues into the future.

How do we define a community kitchen?
A community kitchen is any kitchen space made available to serve the community by the organization that owns it, or in collaboration with other organizations or individuals. Commercial and mobile kitchens can be located in privately owned restaurants and businesses, religious organizations, nonprofits, schools, and state or city-owned buildings. These spaces give the community greater opportunities to conduct programs related to food security, nutrition, food waste reduction, and food-related entrepreneurial endeavors. 

Community kitchens can be used to:

  • Repurpose food waste into nutritious meals
  • Provide space for entrepreneurs and artisans to grow their food businesses
  • Host training programs and educational centers that teach culinary skills
  • Build access to healthy food and connect the community to their local food system 
  • Act as disaster response sites to strengthen community recovery during emergencies

Community kitchens can serve multiple functions, making them valuable assets for small businesses, start-ups, entrepreneurs, food rescue organizations, education and job training programs, and agencies that are embedded in the food system. These place-based food hubs are more accessible and encourage  diversity of food programming countywide, ensuring a more resilient food system for all.

Santa Barbara County Community Kitchen Toolkit to serve as

The Santa Barbara County Community Kitchens Toolkit is a repository for valuable resources for community kitchen owners, operators, individuals working in the foodservice industry, and working groups. The toolkit holds forms and guides for kitchen owners and users, health permitting information, food safety manager certification information, templates for meetings, kitchen supply lists, grant applications, suggestions for MOU and facility use agreements, and so much more.

“The Santa Barbara County Community Kitchen Toolkit has been an invaluable resource for my students –  and their employers. By working closely with Santa Barbara County Public Health, licensed commercial kitchen operators, and industry professionals, the CKWG has created an accessible, real-time, one-stop guide for utilizing existing and activating new or underutilized shared kitchen spaces. Through this work, we hope to improve the utilization of kitchens and create educational, economic, and collaborative opportunities.” 

– Ron Lovell, CKWG Member, and Allan Hancock College Culinary Arts and Management Program Coordinator

SB County Community Kitchens Listing

Click the button below for a list of Santa Barbara County community kitchens that are ready for activation.

SBCFAN and CKWG made efforts to contact a large number of service organizations, schools, places of worship, community-oriented entities, and a few aligned for-profit entities to find out if existing kitchen spaces are maintained and/or available for shared use. If you have questions about any of the identified community kitchens or would like more information, please feel free to contact the kitchen directly or contact the Christina Davis, CKWG Outreach and Implementation Coordinator at [email protected].

Are you a Commercial Kitchen Owner?

MOU & Facility Use Agreements

Facility Use Agreement

Google Doc Template - Customizable fields are highlighted in yellow We highly suggest that you consult with a law professional and/or insurance broker to finalize this template before use. Contact [email protected] for a list of suggested professionals.

Memorandum Of Understanding

Google Doc Template - Customizable fields shown in red. We highly suggest that you consult with a law professional and/or insurance broker to finalize this template before use. Contact [email protected] for a list of suggested professionals.

Permits, Guidelines, & Resources

Generally, most community kitchen work will require permits from the Santa Barbara County Environmental Health Services Department (EHS). The type(s) of permits required will be specific to the activities that are planned or anticipated in a kitchen space. Below are descriptions of the types of food permits offered. Commercial kitchen users and owners are advised to familiarize themselves with Santa Barbara County permitting guidelines. Additional information: https://www.countyofsb.org/.

Interested in engaging in community kitchen work and/or beginning or changing the operation of an existing kitchen space? We recommend opening a dialogue with the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department to discuss the process of obtaining permits. Contact an EHS Officer in Santa Barbara at 805-681-4900; Santa Maria at 805-346-8460 or via email [email protected].

California Code Handbooks

Links to Plumbing, Mechanical, and Building Standards Code hand books

California Department of Public Health Food and Drug Branch

Some activities are regulated by the California Department of Public Health Food and Drug Branch (CDPH FDB).  CDPH FDB permits can be necessary either instead of, or along with, county-level permits, depending on the activities undertaken in any particular kitchen…

Catering/Host Facility Permit

Santa Barbara County EHS states that this permit allows caterers to prepare food at a permitted location, then distribute that prepared food off-site. This permit does not allow on-site distribution. Examples include breweries that offer tours, sports stadiums, etc. This…

Cottage Food “Class A” Self Certification Application (direct sales)

Santa Barbara County EHS states that Cottage Food Operators may sell directly to their customers (direct sales) within California. They must complete a self-certification registration checklist with EHS.

Cottage Food “Class B” Food Permit Application (indirect sales)

Santa Barbara County EHS states that Cottage Food Operators may sell directly to their customers (direct sales) within California and may also sell to restaurants or retail facilities (indirect sales) within the County in which they hold their Cottage Food…

Cottage Food FAQs

Santa Barbara County EHS permit for home-based food preparation for retail in small quantities, with certain limitations (e.g. must generate

Cottage Food Guidance

Santa Barbara County EHS required that all applicants for a Cottage Food Operation must reside within Santa Barbara County. Applicants should read and be familiar with the Cottage Food Guidance educational document before completing the application.

Environmental Health Services Fee Schedules

A list of Santa Barbara County EHS facility fee schedules.

Environmental Health Services Health Permit Categories

A list of permit categories from Santa Barbara County EHS for kitchen activities.

General Food Facility Permit Application

Santa Barbara County EHS Food facility permit allows for the distribution of food on-site and preparation or re-purposing of food items. Preparation or re-purposing includes activities such as heating, cooling, combining ingredients, and re-packaging/re-portioning foods. This permit is commonly referred…

Health Permit Application

Santa Barbara County EHS application for commercial kitchen health permit

Health Permit Information

A health permit issued from Santa Barbara County EHS is necessary to operate a food facility in the county. We advise that you check in with the facility to make sure that health permits are up to date.

Limited Services Charity Feeding Operation

Santa Barbara County EHS states that this permit is needed for use by nonprofits who distribute prepared foods such as soup kitchens. This permit limits food service to distributing food as it was received by a donor. Note that this…

Mechanical Exhaust Ventilation Systems Guidelines

Design, Calculations, and Operational Guidelines for Mechanical Exhaust Ventilation Systems.

Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKOs) Frequently Asked Questions

Santa Barbara County EHS FAQs for MEHKO.

Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKOs) Plan Check

Santa Barbara County EHS plan check for application for Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKOs).

Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKOs) Standard Operating Procedures Form

Santa Barbara County EHS Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKOs) procedure form.

Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKOs) Start Guide

Santa Barbara County EHS steps to Opening Your MEHKO.

Mobile Food Facility (MFF) Permit Application (16-1a)

Santa Barbara County EHS application for mobile food facility health permit.

Mobile Food Facility (MFF) Permit Information

Santa Barbara County EHS permit exclusively applies to mobile kitchens that exist within a vehicle that is registered in Santa Barbara County.

Opening a Food Facility?

This is a step-by-step guide through the Santa Barbara County EHS on opening a food facility.

Plan Check Application for Facility Kitchen

Santa Barbara County EHS requires that all food facility operators complete a Health Permit Application. If you are doing any type of construction or modification to your restaurant or food facility, you must start here, with the Plan Check Process…

Plan Check Quick Start Checklist

All food facility operators must complete a Health Permit Application. If you are doing any type of construction or modification to your restaurant or food facility, you must start here, with the Plan Check Process and a Plan Check Application.

Request for Exemption from Regulation as a Food Facility

Exemption from regulation as a food facility applies if you meet either of the conditions stated in this document.

Shared Kitchen Authorization Form

Santa Barbara County EHS states that Food Caterers/Shared Kitchen Operators must provide authorization from the permitted food facility owner to operate as a shared kitchen operator at the permitted facility

Shared Use Kitchen Guidelines

The goal of EHS is to make the sharing of a food facility by multiple businesses work smoothly, while ensuring that safe food handling practices are in place to protect the public’s health.

Temporary Food Facility Guidelines

Santa Barbara County EHS guidelines for temporary food facilities.

Food Safety Manager & Food Handler Certification Resources

Kitchen users must have a Certified Food Safety Manager onsite during kitchen use. In California, the Food Manager Certification designates a state requirement mandating that at least one employee or owner per food establishment must pass an accredited food safety examination. The Food Handler Card, required for individuals involved in the preparation, storage, or service of food in a food facility, refers to a less comprehensive mandatory training for all employees who come in direct contact with unpackaged food. Resources and guidelines on how to obtain certification are below.

Additional Links for Accredited Food Handlers Courses

Accredited California Food Handler Certificate Program via ANSI.

California Food Handler Card Guidelines

Pursuant to SB 602 enacted into law in 2010 and SB 303 in 2011, Health and Safety Code 113790 et seq., (“California Food Handler Card Law”), food handlers, as defined, will be required to obtain a food handler card after…

Food Labels

Food label information for California food processors.

Food Safety Manager Courses

Links to programs that offer virtual and in-person food safety manager certification courses. Certificates must be renewed every 5 years. Virtual and in-person courses are available in English and Spanish.

Food Vendor Commissary Authorization

Per the California Health and Safety Code, all food vendors are required to operate out of a commissary or a facility approved by EHS. This form is to be completed and submitted to EHS for review and approval before a…

Hand Washing Guidelines

Guidelines for hand washing in commercial and mobile kitchens.

Additional Permitting, Guidelines, & Technical Resources

Are you a Commercial Kitchen USER?

MOU & Facility Use Agreements

Facility Use Agreement

Google Doc Template - Customizable fields are highlighted in yellow We highly suggest that you consult with a law professional and/or insurance broker to finalize this template before use. Contact [email protected] for a list of suggested professionals.

Memorandum Of Understanding

Google Doc Template - Customizable fields shown in red. We highly suggest that you consult with a law professional and/or insurance broker to finalize this template before use. Contact [email protected] for a list of suggested professionals.

Permits, Guidelines, & Resources

Generally, most community kitchen work will require permits from the Santa Barbara County Environmental Health Services Department (EHS). The type(s) of permits required will be specific to the activities that are planned or anticipated in a kitchen space. Below are descriptions of the types of food permits offered. Commercial kitchen users and owners are advised to familiarize themselves with Santa Barbara County permitting guidelines. Additional information: https://www.countyofsb.org.

California Code Handbooks

Links to Plumbing, Mechanical, and Building Standards Code hand books

California Department of Public Health Food and Drug Branch

Some activities are regulated by the California Department of Public Health Food and Drug Branch (CDPH FDB).  CDPH FDB permits can be necessary either instead of, or along with, county-level permits, depending on the activities undertaken in any particular kitchen…

Catering/Host Facility Permit

Santa Barbara County EHS states that this permit allows caterers to prepare food at a permitted location, then distribute that prepared food off-site. This permit does not allow on-site distribution. Examples include breweries that offer tours, sports stadiums, etc. This…

Cottage Food “Class A” Self Certification Application (direct sales)

Santa Barbara County EHS states that Cottage Food Operators may sell directly to their customers (direct sales) within California. They must complete a self-certification registration checklist with EHS.

Cottage Food “Class B” Food Permit Application (indirect sales)

Santa Barbara County EHS states that Cottage Food Operators may sell directly to their customers (direct sales) within California and may also sell to restaurants or retail facilities (indirect sales) within the County in which they hold their Cottage Food…

Cottage Food FAQs

Santa Barbara County EHS permit for home-based food preparation for retail in small quantities, with certain limitations (e.g. must generate

Cottage Food Guidance

Santa Barbara County EHS required that all applicants for a Cottage Food Operation must reside within Santa Barbara County. Applicants should read and be familiar with the Cottage Food Guidance educational document before completing the application.

Environmental Health Services Fee Schedules

A list of Santa Barbara County EHS facility fee schedules.

Environmental Health Services Health Permit Categories

A list of permit categories from Santa Barbara County EHS for kitchen activities.

General Food Facility Permit Application

Santa Barbara County EHS Food facility permit allows for the distribution of food on-site and preparation or re-purposing of food items. Preparation or re-purposing includes activities such as heating, cooling, combining ingredients, and re-packaging/re-portioning foods. This permit is commonly referred…

Health Permit Application

Santa Barbara County EHS application for commercial kitchen health permit

Health Permit Information

A health permit issued from Santa Barbara County EHS is necessary to operate a food facility in the county. We advise that you check in with the facility to make sure that health permits are up to date.

Limited Services Charity Feeding Operation

Santa Barbara County EHS states that this permit is needed for use by nonprofits who distribute prepared foods such as soup kitchens. This permit limits food service to distributing food as it was received by a donor. Note that this…

Mechanical Exhaust Ventilation Systems Guidelines

Design, Calculations, and Operational Guidelines for Mechanical Exhaust Ventilation Systems.

Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKOs) Frequently Asked Questions

Santa Barbara County EHS FAQs for MEHKO.

Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKOs) Plan Check

Santa Barbara County EHS plan check for application for Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKOs).

Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKOs) Standard Operating Procedures Form

Santa Barbara County EHS Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKOs) procedure form.

Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKOs) Start Guide

Santa Barbara County EHS steps to Opening Your MEHKO.

Mobile Food Facility (MFF) Permit Application (16-1a)

Santa Barbara County EHS application for mobile food facility health permit.

Mobile Food Facility (MFF) Permit Information

Santa Barbara County EHS permit exclusively applies to mobile kitchens that exist within a vehicle that is registered in Santa Barbara County.

Opening a Food Facility?

This is a step-by-step guide through the Santa Barbara County EHS on opening a food facility.

Plan Check Application for Facility Kitchen

Santa Barbara County EHS requires that all food facility operators complete a Health Permit Application. If you are doing any type of construction or modification to your restaurant or food facility, you must start here, with the Plan Check Process…

Plan Check Quick Start Checklist

All food facility operators must complete a Health Permit Application. If you are doing any type of construction or modification to your restaurant or food facility, you must start here, with the Plan Check Process and a Plan Check Application.

Request for Exemption from Regulation as a Food Facility

Exemption from regulation as a food facility applies if you meet either of the conditions stated in this document.

Shared Kitchen Authorization Form

Santa Barbara County EHS states that Food Caterers/Shared Kitchen Operators must provide authorization from the permitted food facility owner to operate as a shared kitchen operator at the permitted facility

Shared Use Kitchen Guidelines

The goal of EHS is to make the sharing of a food facility by multiple businesses work smoothly, while ensuring that safe food handling practices are in place to protect the public’s health.

Temporary Food Facility Guidelines

Santa Barbara County EHS guidelines for temporary food facilities.

Food Safety Manager & Food Handler Certification Resources

Kitchen users must have a Certified Food Safety Manager onsite during kitchen use. In California, the Food Manager Certification designates a state requirement mandating that at least one employee or owner per food establishment must pass an accredited food safety examination. The Food Handler Card, required for individuals involved in the preparation, storage, or service of food in a food facility, refers to a less comprehensive mandatory training for all employees who come in direct contact with unpackaged food. Resources and guidelines on how to obtain certification are below.

Additional Links for Accredited Food Handlers Courses

Accredited California Food Handler Certificate Program via ANSI.

California Food Handler Card Guidelines

Pursuant to SB 602 enacted into law in 2010 and SB 303 in 2011, Health and Safety Code 113790 et seq., (“California Food Handler Card Law”), food handlers, as defined, will be required to obtain a food handler card after…

Food Labels

Food label information for California food processors.

Food Safety Manager Courses

Links to programs that offer virtual and in-person food safety manager certification courses. Certificates must be renewed every 5 years. Virtual and in-person courses are available in English and Spanish.

Food Vendor Commissary Authorization

Per the California Health and Safety Code, all food vendors are required to operate out of a commissary or a facility approved by EHS. This form is to be completed and submitted to EHS for review and approval before a…

Hand Washing Guidelines

Guidelines for hand washing in commercial and mobile kitchens.

Additional Permitting, Guidelines, & Technical Resources

California Dream Fund Grant Program

CAFF’s California Family Farmer Emergency Fund

SBCFAN’s FRESA Working Group: Food Access Success Story

FRESA is an SBCFAN working group that is working to increase food access, address food insecurity, and improve the affordability of locally-grown produce in Northern Santa Barbara County.

Free meals, great music for kids

USDA Announces Framework for Shoring Up the Food Supply Chain and Transforming the Food System to Be Fairer, More Competitive, More Resilient

Meet a Farmer – Ed Seaman of Santa Barbara Blueberries

2022 Beginning Farmer and Farmworker Training and Workforce Development

What Are You Hungry For? Podcast featuring Shakira Miracle

Congressmember Salud Carbajal on Addressing Equity Through Better Food Policy

Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg: Congressmember Salud Carbajal on Addressing Equity Through Better Food Policy

CDFA is hiring an Urban Agriculture Grant Manager

CDFA is hiring an Urban Agriculture Program Lead

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