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SM Times FB_SMTimesDonations to the annual FoodBank of Santa Barbara County started coming in Friday with 100 turkeys from Stu and Jan Bartleson, right, a $2000 donation from the Walker family, left, and a $25,000 one-to-one community matching grant by Wells Fargo

Thanksgiving wouldn’t quite be Thanksgiving for many Santa Maria Valley residents without the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County and the generosity of Stu and Jan Bartleson.

The Bartlesons kicked off the Foodbank’s annual Turkey Drive on Friday with a donation of 100 birds. It was the seventh consecutive year the philanthropic couple has started the event going with a generous donation.

The Turkey Drive runs through Nov. 22 and this year Foodbank staff aims to distribute 3,000 turkeys to needy area families.

“Thanksgiving is our country’s most important reminder of the benefits of coming together around a meal,” said Erik Talkin, Foodbank chief executive officer. “With support from the community and sponsors like Wells Fargo, Foodbank strives to make this time of year a joyous one for all, especially those who might otherwise have gone without.”

This year, Wells Fargo is sponsoring the Turkey Drive with a $25,000 one-to-one matching grant. Other major sponsors include Driscoll’s Berries and Pacific Gas & Electric Co., which contributed $5,000.

“Wells Fargo knows how many families depend on the services of the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, especially now as we near the holidays,” said Joe Mathai, Wells Fargo Valley Coastal president. “Being able to offer food and assistance to those in need is crucial. We hope the Santa Barbara County community joins us in our support of this great organization and helps them continue the great work they do for our community.”

Both cash and food contributions can be dropped off in both Santa Maria and Santa Barbara (4554 Hollister Ave.) locations:

In Santa Maria:

  • Dropoffs can be made at the Foodbank facility at 490 W. Foster Road from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekdays. Hours will be extended to 5:30 p.m. beginning Nov. 18.
  • A special one-day event will be held Nov. 16 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. to allow those who can’t stop by during regular weekday hours to make a donation.

Monetary donations can also be made by phone at 967-5741, ext. 104, or online at https://secure.qgiv. com/for/fosbc/event/39885.


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