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Working groups drive the work of the Santa Barbara County Food Action Network in the areas of:

  • Food Access & Community Kitchens: Create accessible and distributed hubs for community food access and food distribution
  • Local Food Products & Local Markets: Invest in virtual and physical infrastructure that facilitate local food production, distribution and consumption
  • Regional Lands & Regenerative Agriculture: Cultivate systems that reclaim carbon and nutrient sources and build ecological function on natural and working lands
  • Food Literacy Education and Demonstration: Develop cross-disciplinary programs that cultivate public knowledge of and meaningful engagement in food and farming
  • Policy Advocacy and Change: Address regulatory barriers to innovative food system projects and advocate for policy change

These priorities were derived from the Santa Barbara County Food Action Plan and were chosen, prioritized, and reevaluated by network leadership during the inaugural year of the Food Action Network. Working groups, led by co-chairs elected by the working group members, meet at least monthly and may meet more frequently as needed to achieve agreed upon deliverables. Working groups are open to the public and new members can join at any time, given an initial discussion with the working group co-chair(s).

Working group status may fall within either of the following:

  • Developing a loose coalition of stakeholders around common food system goals or visions, to identify needs and explore opportunities.
  • Launching a project or initiative with partners, to actively address a community need and achieve a tangible food system objective.

How does the SBCFAN support working groups?

  • Connect interested community members or existing working group members to other stakeholders that may leverage or inform efforts.
  • Align existing and evolving initiatives with funding opportunities, and other local/county/regional advocacy efforts.
  • Activate projects and action by providing small grants, facilitation assistance,or elevating the work via network communication channels.

What are the expectations of the working group chair(s)?

The group chair(s) convene and facilitate meetings, communicate and coordinate with staff as needed. Particularly,

  1. Facilitate group member engagement and participation (create meeting agendas, identify action items, follow-up on next steps),
  2. Track progress (tracking meeting outcomes, membership and attendance, successes, challenges), and
  3. Manage grant reporting (ensure any grant funds and deliverables are reported on to relevant granting agencies).

What are the expectations of working group members?

  • Members attend and participate in phone calls and in-person meetings.
  • Members are willing to share knowledge, resources, and guidance to other members.

Want to join us?

Contact us using the form below to learn more about existing working groups, or to propose a new one.

Existing Working Groups

  • Higher Education: currently led by Santa Barbara City College
  • Cuyama Valley Food Action Network: currently led by Blue Sky Center

Working Groups launched in 2020:

  • Victory Gardens/Community Grown Agriculture: co-led by SBCFAN & Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade
  • CalFresh Expansion: co-led by Community Environmental Council & Center for Employment Training
  • Food As Medicine: led by Foodbank of Santa Barbara County
  • Community Kitchens & Cold Storage: lead TBD
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