Veggie Rescue, based in the Santa Ynez Valley, received $705 from the Santa Maria-Bonita School District’s Food Service Department during the school’s holiday potluck on Dec. 18.
For the last 10 years, during the holiday season, Santa Maria-Bonita has held Reindeer Games, an inter-department challenge to raise money for local charities. This year more than $10,000 was raised to support nonprofits including Veggie Rescue, Santa Maria Humane Society and Shoes for Kids.
The charities are chosen by each department, and staff members choose the activities to raise money.
“Our department held three lunch events, where we sold lunches to staff, and we held a silent auction,” said food services coordinator Harold Litwiler.
“I was shocked by how much the team raised to support our work. It was a real holiday gift to have been presented with this big check,” said Veggie Rescue’s Executive Director Amy Derryberry.
Veggie Rescue was founded in 2011 with the mission to improve the nutrition and quality of life of fellow community members who are struggling with food insecurity by providing them with healthy, local produce and prepared food, and to work with farmers to reduce food waste at the beginning of the food cycle.
This is done by collecting excess produce and prepared food from farms, farmers markets and businesses, then delivering this food directly to organizations feeding people throughout Santa Barbara County.
Veggie Rescue has collected and distributed about a million pounds of food since it began. Find out more through www.VeggieRescue.org or through Facebook and Instagram.