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    Santa Barbara County Food Action Network’s “Stay Home (and Eat Local) for the Holidays” Campaign Offers Safe Option for Celebrating the Holidays during Stay-At-Home Order

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    The Food Action Network in partnership with Public Health, farmers markets, Edible Santa Barbara, and Apples to Zucchini Cooking School, continues to encourage the community to stay home, be safe, and eat local this holiday season.

    The Stay Home (and Eat Local) for the Holidays Campaign launched before Thanksgiving as a collaborative effort between Santa Barbara County Food Action Network (SBCFAN), Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (SBCPHD), county-wide farmers’ markets, and Edible Santa Barbara. The Campaign offers a safe, affordable, and healthy option for celebrating the holidays while emphasizing the importance of supporting the County’s local agriculture and food producers during the ongoing pandemic.

    “Due to the regional Stay at Home Order that went into effect on Monday, our local food system faces even greater pressure – the need to support our County’s local farmers, ranchers, food artisans and fisherfolk is more critical than ever. The Stay Home and Eat Local Campaign provides a fun and practical way to encourage our community to shop local this season by creating nutritious and beautiful meals for their loved ones during the holidays,” announced SBCFAN’s Executive Director, Shakira Miracle.

    SBCPHD’s Director of Nutrition Services/WIC, Susan Liles reiterated why the Campaign provides a festive alternative to large holiday celebrations; “Santa Barbara County’s agriculture is an integral part of our community. During these times, we can continue to support each other by following the COVID-19 procedures and shopping locally. The farmers markets offer a safe location to shop and follow procedures in place by the Public Health Department. Stay home, eat local, and enjoy a farm-fresh, nutritious meal with your household.”

    The Stay Home (and Eat Local) for the Holidays Campaign provides a holiday shopping guide complete with suggested budgets for small gatherings, a sample menu with basic preparations, a shopping list with an easy-to-follow market map, and recipes by Edible Santa Barbara for residents to plan a fresh and nutritious holiday meal. The community is encouraged to get involved by:

    1. Shopping at a participating farmers market during the 2020 holiday season.
    2. Checking in at the farmers market info booth and grabbing a copy of the shopping guide – or downloading from the website at www.sbcfoodaction.org/holidays.
    3. Exploring the market and discovering delicious and affordable in-season produce to showcase on their holiday table.
    4. Asking farmers market staff if they need assistance finding an ingredient or want advice on recipes or substitutions. Enjoying a locally sourced holiday meal with their household.

    The Campaign is gaining community support with positive and appreciative feedback from leading organizations of the County, members of the local food system and community members alike. “It’s been wonderful to partner with healthy local food advocates in this County-wide Stay Home (and Eat Local) for the Holidays Campaign. The Shopping Guides are beautiful and we love sharing them with our customers. During these crazy times, highlighting the delicious local food available at Santa Barbara County farmers markets is something we can all celebrate” announced Shelby Wild, Route 1 Farmers Market Manager.

    Participating markets include:

    SBCFAN has connected with new partners to grow the Campaign, including Apples to Zucchini Cooking School (www.atozcookingschool.org) and their family friendly Homemade Holiday Gift Recipes, which showcase ingredients found at the farmers market and include holi-date bites, spiced nuts, overnight oats, and granola. The recipes are available at the market info booth, along with the Stay Home (and Eat Local) Shopping Guide.

    Apples to Zucchini Executive Director, Nancy Martz sees the Campaign as an opportunity to encourage households to cook a holiday meal together – and nourish friends and family with handmade edible gifts. “Eating is an opportunity to cultivate community and there is no better way to do that than over a shared meal. Take time to set the table with pretty napkins, light candles, use festive plates, put away the phones and turn off the TV. If your kids are old enough to help with dishes – let them take part in cleaning up.”

    The Stay Home (and Eat Local) for the Holidays Campaign will continue through December 30, 2020. Find out more about the Campaign at www.sbcfoodaction.org/holidays, or by visiting a participating farmers market this holiday season.

    About Santa Barbara County Food Action Network (SBCFAN)

    SBCFAN 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.

    Formed in 2019, SBCFAN supports efforts to advance goals of the Santa Barbara County Food Action Plan, a countywide, community-driven strategic plan that assessed and provided recommendations for how we grow, distribute, consume, and dispose of food. Learn more at SBCFoodAction.org and find SBCFAN on Facebook.com/SBCFoodAction and Instagram.com/SBCFoodAction.

    About Santa Barbara Foundation

    The Santa Barbara Foundation, the largest community foundation in the region and the county’s go-to resource for investment and capacity-building, strives to mobilize and elevate all residents to thrive.  Nearly every Santa Barbara County nonprofit organization and essential community project has been supported by the Foundation during its 92-year history.

    The Foundation is working to improve areas that affect quality of life in Santa Barbara County including child care, workforce development, and workforce housing. The Foundation connects those who give with those in need – and all who dream of stronger communities. To learn more, please visit SBFoundation.org.

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