By Raiza Giorgi

For more than 20 weeks now, members of the Buellton community have rallied to help feed their neighbors struggling from the effects of COVID-19. When the pandemic first began, a few ladies started volunteering to pick up donations for the weekly food distribution site at Bethania Lutheran Church, but the need was quickly growing in Buellton as well. 

The Buellton Blessing Box was placed outside of the Buellton Garage by the Hurnblad family, and after several weeks a local contractor volunteered to build a permanent one at Crossroads Church. 

“I come by this box at least four to six times a day and fill it with essential items and nonperishable food,” said volunteer Candice Signa. “There is such a great need for diapers, wipes and feminine hygiene products as those aren’t available with some food assistance programs.” 

Signa applied for a grant from the Santa Ynez Valley Elks and was recently given a check for $2,000 to keep supplies stocked. 

“It was so amazing and thank you so much to the Elks for their generous gift, we need all the support we can get for the Buellton Blessing Box,” Signa said. 

The people in charge of checking supplies at both locations are Signa, Jeni Hurnblad, Elizabeth Breen and Jen Klamn. Every few days these ladies collect items from people around the valley and either take them to the Tuesday giving event at Bethania and/or stock the blessing boxes. 

Signa has been one of the local go-to resources for helping people find assistance along with trying to keep people’s spirits up by printing yard signs for people to put up to show solidarity. Along with several other realtors and construction companies, they have given away gift cards to local grocery stores to help combat food insecurity. 

If people wish to donate they can send checks made to the Love Local fund at Crossroads Church or contact Signa on Facebook to give non-perishable products.