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CEC is committed to creating a more resilient and just region in the face of climate change. Through our work with the Central Coast Climate Justice Network and elsewhere, our vision includes an end to racial injustices and their resulting environmental inequities.


With its year-round growing climate, rich agricultural lands, and diversity of crops, Santa Barbara County should be able to provide better access to nutritious, affordable, healthy food for all of its residents. And yet, like many communities, we struggle with high rates of obesity, diabetes, poverty, food insecurity, and even hunger. Our region is also faced with a multi-year drought, pressure to develop agricultural lands, significant amounts of food waste, and other threats to the long-term sustainability of our foodshed.

In recognition of both these challenges and opportunities, we are launching a strategy-based community process or “blueprint” for an accessible, thriving, sustainable, and healthy food system. This
Food Action Plan will address every aspect of the food system—production, processing, distribution, access, and waste management—in a way that supports healthy people, a healthy economy, and a healthy environment.

The Santa Barbara County Food Action Plan is a partnership of the Santa Barbara Foundation’s LEAF Initiative (Landscape, Ecosystems, Agriculture, Food Systems), the Orfalea Foundation, the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County and Community Environmental Council.

Over the course of 14 months, we intend to listen to concerns from the community, facilitate dialogue among key stakeholders and organizations, identify opportunities for collaboration, and designate opportunities for shared investment and community impact. In addition to developing the plan itself, this effort will create a network, and encourage investment in implementing the strategies that emerge, as seen in other communities.

For more information, visit

Share your thoughts on the Food Action Plan by filling out this eight-question community survey.

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