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Santa Maria Sun / School Scene

The following article was posted on July 16th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 19 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 19

Foodbank receives big grants from Walmart

BY CAMILLA LANHAM


LUNCH LINE
Seven-year-olds Emily Graciliano and Alexander Elizararraz wait at Grogan Park to receive their Picnic in the Park lunch from Dina Henry, a Walmart zone supervisor who traveled from Bakersfield to volunteer in Santa Maria, and a ticket for a smoothie from Food Bank volunteer Destiny Sota.
PHOTO BY CAMILLIA LANHAM

Grogan Park was a busy place on July 11. Children were playing on the jungle gym, eating, and cycle-blending smoothies, and near the park’s community center, the Walmart Foundation awarded two grants totaling $120,000 to the Food Bank of Santa Barbara County.

Of that money, $45,000 will specifically go to the Food Bank’s Picnic in the Park program, which provides summertime lunches and bicycle-powered blenders to children who participate in free and reduced-price lunch programs during the school year. Grogan Park is one of nine parks in North County that host a lunch every weekday during the summer.

Funds awarded to Picnic in the Park are from the Fighting Hunger Together Challenge Grant, which is granted to nonprofits based partly on votes from community members. The remaining $75,000 will go toward the Food Bank’s Building a Food Secure Community Effort.

During the award ceremony Judi Monte, development manager for the Food Bank, said the Food Bank provides food to one in four people countywide, and the Picnic in the Park program in particular provides lunches for 900 children. She said the money would be put to good use.

“Seventy-five thousand is going to go a long, long ways,” Monte said. “That is significant for the Food Bank.”

For a listing of the 17 sites in the county where summer lunches are provided, visit the Food Bank’s website, foodbanksbc.org.