SBIN Partners, together with the Santa Barbara County Food Action Plan and Community Environmental Council, began exploring a food waste recovery program in 2016. Food waste recovery programs have been established around the country to great success. Donating wholesome food for human consumption diverts food waste from landfills and puts food on the table for people at risk of hunger. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food recovery is the second most preferred method of managing food waste.
With the support of SBIN, the Santa Barbara County Food Rescue initiative was established in 2017.
Since its' founding, SBC Food Rescue has diverted 522,941 pounds of food from the landfill to feed the community. This is equivalent to 436,165 meals served.
Through May 2022, SBC Food Rescue has diverted 30,913 pounds of food from the landfill to feed the community. This is equivalent to 25,761 meals served.
Positive momentum with this initiative has attracted many interested parties including hotels, businesses, private schools, etc. The need for food in our county is at an all time high and SBC Food Rescue is a key partner in the effort to challenge food insecurity.