The Goleta City Council distributed a
federal grant of roughly $40,000 between several
local organizations to support low-income
residents in the community.
The Santa Barbara Food Bank and
Community Action Commission’s Senior
Nutrition Program received $5,400 and
$5,000 respectively from the grant, which is
allotted through the national Community
Development Block Grant program. The
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development created the grant in 1974 to help
fund local governments’ community development
According to Goleta City Public
Information Officer Valerie Kushnerov, the
endowment aims to reduce poverty in the area.
“These are organizations that help populations
that are low-income or fragile or that
don’t have enough resources available, like
seniors or kids — particularly low-income
kids,” Kushnerov said. “Every year the council gets a pot of money and goes through the
process of awarding grants to these communities.”
Goleta Mayor Margaret Connell said the
city directs the finances to individuals least
able to support themselves.
“Our focus has always been and will
continue to be on the needs of children and
senior citizens in particular,” Connell said.
“We are fortunate we have these funds that
we can target toward seniors and children
and hope we can continue to fulfill these
According to David Krier, CAC Senior
Nutrition Program’s director of planning,
the organization uses the funding to supply
meals to elderly residents within the community.
“The meals are made from scratch and
are delivered to more than 140 seniors in the
Goleta area to their homes five days a week,”
Krier said. “The meals are also served at the
senior center that is run by the Goleta Valley
Community Center, where 40 to 50 out of
the 320 total seniors on the roster may be
present at any one meal.”
Connell said the funding provides basic
living services for residents struggling to
maintain crucial needs.
“There are a lot of people who can hardly
afford to buy food — in Santa Barbara
County, even,” Connell said. “The area we
are focused on is primarily Old Town Goleta,
which has the greatest number of low-income
Although the region’s federal support has
diminished in recent years, Krier said the city
continues to fund the organization.
“Despite the fact that CDBG monies
have shrunk, the city of Goleta continues to
support us at the current level and has done
so for many years,” Krier said.
Connell said he is worried that the grant’s
funding may be reduced or even completely
cut in upcoming years.
“One of the concerns at the moment is
the fear that these grants are going to be cut
on the federal level,” Connell said. “This is
unfortunate because these are funds that can
really be focused on the needs of low-income
people and are really important for their
Friendship Adult Day Care Center,
the Goleta Union School District, New
Beginnings, the Pacific Pride Foundation,
Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics, the
Sarah House and United Boys & Girls Clubs
also received funding.