During an unprecedented time when a growing number of community members are experiencing food insecurity, local businesses have teamed up with nonprofits to help address the issue on a larger scale.
Steve Sawin, owner of Valley Tool & Truck Rental in Buellton, is contributing in his own way by supplying refrigeration units to both the Buellton Senior Center and Veggie Rescue, which provide sustenance to those in need around the county.
A large semi-trailer refrigeration unit that sits outside of the senior center's walk-up window and holds essential food staples, was donated and delivered to their Buellton location on April 8, he said. And on April 1, a 20-foot refrigeration truck was left in the care of local nonprofit Veggie Rescue to further assist them with daily transport of perishable items to distribution sites.
"We figured it was something that we could contribute at this time," said Sawin. "We just wanted to get those to them so they had a way to continue doing what they're doing for people."
The nonprofit has collected and delivered more than one million pounds of vegetables since its inception.
In turn, Veggie Rescue Executive Director Amy Derryberry said Veggie Rescue was able to move their solar cooler to the Los Alamos Senior Center to help them keep food donations at a proper temperature between distributions.
According to a spokeswoman for The Hitching Post 2 in Buellton, the restaurant's co-owner Frank Ostini and his team have partnered with food suppliers Newport Meats, Jordano's and The Berry Man in an effort to feed front line workers.
Last week the Hitching Post 2 team prepared 160 meals for the janitorial crew at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, and they plan on doing it again.
PHP’s Chief Program Officer Mayra Ramos said that the first Tuesday distributions drew 250 families each and that the number is expected to grow as the pandemic continues.
"Evidently, the healthcare workers are being taken care of, but the janitors who service the COVID-19 facilities are working long hours and really needed some support," the spokeswoman explained. "So Frank and the team put together some care packages for them."
The senior communication consultant for Allstate Insurance, Terri Stackhouse, said that the Allstate Foundation has contributed $5 million to communities across the U.S., offering support to local nonprofits impacted by the pandemic – including the Santa Ynez Valley.
"The contribution will accelerate relief and recovery for domestic violence victims, youth in need, first responders and communities at large," she wrote.
A clean-up day at the ranch yielded more than just pristine horse stalls and happy steeds for the Santa Ynez Valley Therapeutic Riding Program. Five volunteers — all Central Coast Allstate agency owners — helped secure a sizable grant to benefit the Therapeutic Riding Program through their volunteerism.
To help address urgent COVID-19 funding needs, Stackhouse said local domestic violence nonprofits are eligible to apply for grants from The National Network to End Domestic Violence program through Allstate.
Additionally, Stackhouse said local nonprofits where Allstate agents planned to lead a volunteer project that has been cancelled or postponed, will still be funded by The Allstate Foundation, regardless of whether the volunteer service is completed.
Central Coast Allstate agency owners Shawna Cota of Solvang, Susan Dal Pozzo of Lompoc, Brian and Dana Iversen of Arroyo Grande, and Mary Rowan Ishikawa of Arroyo Grande and Santa Maria, will again help the Santa Ynez Valley Therapeutic Riding Program secure a $5,000 Allstate Foundation Helping Hands® Grant through their volunteerism.
040720 Buellton Senior Center 17.jpg
040720 Buellton Senior Center 10.jpg
040720 Buellton Senior Center 15.jpg
040720 Buellton Senior Center 3.jpg
040720 Buellton Senior Center 8.jpg
040720 Buellton Senior Center 6.jpg
040720 Buellton Senior Center 5.jpg
040720 Buellton Senior Center 1.jpg
040720 Buellton Senior Center 4.jpg
040720 Buellton Senior Center 9.jpg
040720 Buellton Senior Center 11.jpg
040720 Buellton Senior Center 12.jpg
040720 Buellton Senior Center 13.jpg
Stock Photo Buellton Senior Center
040720 Buellton Senior Center 2.jpg
040720 Buellton Senior Center 7.jpg
Due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the center has been feeding an additional 70 seniors each day, which totals 160 — and that number continues to grow.
Among the changes, clients are no longer allowed inside the Food Pantry building and are now being processed at the window near the entrance.
We are putting together a list of area restaurants, bars and other businesses that have been impacted by the coronavirus restrictions — bans o…
Lisa André covers Valley Life for Santa Ynez Valley News.
The business news you need
With a weekly newsletter looking back at local history.