The Santa Barbara County Food Action Network connects, aligns, and activates a network of food system actors to develop a robust local food economy, a healthy and just community, and a well-stewarded, resilient foodshed.
We have a stellar leadership team directing our efforts, but we are not the network. You are. Please stay tuned to learn how to engage and partner up as a proactive member of our network.
A cross section of food system advocates and actors help guide the efforts of Santa Barbara County Food Action Network, led by Executive Director Shakira Miracle. See full leadership team here.
What We Do
We are building a proactive network of changemakers in our food system. Currently we are facilitating working groups to address gaps in the food system that have emerged from COVID-19. We are also empowering collaborations that build the solutions we need now.
The Santa Barbara Food Action Network grew out of the Santa Barbara Food Action Plan, a community-driven strategic plan that assesses and provides recommendations for how we grow, distribute, consume, and dispose of food. Spearheaded by the Community Environmental Council and the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, the plan was developed in 2015-16 and involved over 1,200 hours of volunteer work from over 200 community members.
In following years, CEC and Foodbank continued spearheading efforts to carry forward Food Action Plan goals, and in 2019 launched the Santa Barbara County Food Action Network. The Santa Barbara Foundation served as a major partner in initial and ongoing work, and continues support through grants for projects that create positive change in the local food system.
What Is A Food System
The food system encompasses how food moves from farms to tables. It includes farmers and the farmland on which food is grown, manufacturers and processors, distributors—from truckers to grocery stores to food banks—and all residents as consumers. It also incorporates the inputs needed and outputs generated at each step, including food waste. There are no defined geographical boundaries of our food system, but for the purposes of this plan, we localize the system to be Santa Barbara County.
Four Big Actions
Utilize the plan to further your work and leverage additional support.
The Food Action Plan is supported by multiple jurisdictions, government agencies and community-based organizations throughout Santa Barbara County. Aligning your current and future work with the plan will strengthen the impact of your projects and programs, and leverage a network of community leaders dedicated to achieving the designated goals and strategies.
Investigate sample resources and policies that align with the
mission and values of your organization.
The Food Action Plan highlights resources and policies in support of designated strategies that are linked to local, state and national organizations. We encourage you to contact organizational leaders and engage with existing partnerships and collaboratives.
Invest in the implementation of goals and strategies.
Food Action Plan partner organizations will continue to collaborate with the support of local foundations and individual donors. The SBCFAN EC is currently developing a membership structure to more fully engage the public in food systems projects. We aim to launch this structure in Summer 2020, so stay tuned! Please contact us if you have any questions in the mean time.
Invest in Our Foodshed
Invest in Our Foodshed calls us to become stewards of our natural heritage by reducing greenhouse gas emissions generated from the food system, protecting scarce farm and ranch land, reducing food waste, and encouraging best practices for managing precious natural resources. The strategies are focused on opportunity areas where small investments can have big impacts.