Foodbank CEO Erik Talkin Takes on Food Security Challenge
Talkin to spend one month eating on $6.46 a day to heighten awareness of food insecurity among seniors in Santa Barbara County
(Santa Barbara, CA., February, 2017) — The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County’s CEO Erik Talkin will begin his third Food Security Challenge on Wednesday, February 1, 2017. This year, Talkin hopes to bring special attention to the 23,918 food insecure seniors the Foodbank serves in our community, demonstrating their hardships of living on a fixed income, by only spending $6.46 per day (or $194 total) on food for the entire month. He will also limit himself to cooking with the limited resources that may be available to a struggling senior, such as a single burner, saucepan and frying pan.
“In our community, the sacrifices that elderly people make are heartbreaking and often times dangerous to their nutritional well-being,” shared Talkin. “When faced with the choice between buying essential medications, paying the electric bill, or shopping for food, they often choose to go hungry, which only perpetuates the cycle of poor health.”
Taking into consideration that seniors served by the Foodbank live on a fixed income of less than $900 a month, Talkin’s month-long challenge will focus on the sustainability of maintaining as healthy and nutritious diet as possible, which is vital to a senior’s health and well-being. Each week during his month-long challenge, Talkin will utilize the community’s available resources in an attempt to stay nourished, from visiting a Foodbank Brown Bag Program distribution site to collecting produce at a Senior Mobile Farmers Market, among other activities that will help provide support and help ensure seniors are well nourished.
Regular, nutritious meals are critical for seniors – they need extra vitamins and nutrients to maintain a regular weight and bone health but often times must sacrifice healthy food choices for medical payments, housing expenses and other critical costs of living. An estimated 71% percent of households, including seniors, reported using three or more coping strategies for getting enough food in the past 12 months. These trade-offs included: eating food past its expiration date, purchasing inexpensive, unhealthy food because they could not afford healthier options, growing food in a garden, pawning or selling personal property, and watering down food or drinks.
The Foodbank distributes 10 million pounds of healthy food to 300 nonprofits fighting hunger in Santa Barbara County, many of which support the nutritional health of our community’s seniors who struggle to buy nutritious food to stay healthy. With support from the Foodbank, thousands of struggling seniors gain access to the nutritious foods and fresh produce needed to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle in Santa Barbara County.
Join the Challenge
- Follow Talkin’s month-long experience on his Food Security Challenge blog
- Follow & share on social media: @FoodbankSBC
- Subscribe to Foodbank news updates
- Download the Food Security Challenge Toolkit
- Make a $250 donation to sponsor 1 of the 1,692 seniors in the Foodbank Brown Bag program for a year
About the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County
The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is transforming the health of Santa Barbara County by eliminating hunger and food insecurity through good nutrition and food literacy. The Foodbank provides nourishment and education through its award-winning programs and a network of over 300 member non-profit partners. In Santa Barbara County, one in four people receive food support from the Foodbank; over 146,198 unduplicated people of whom nearly 35% are children. Last year, the Foodbank distributed 10 million pounds of food — half of which was fresh produce. For more information, visit www.foodbanksbc.org.