Community Good in the Time of COVID-19

Community Good in the Time of COVID-19 title=
Community Good in the Time of COVID-19
Reads 7634

Hand sanitizer and protective gear, including masks, gloves, gowns, face shields and other items are packed in Direct Relief's warehouse on March 12, 2020, depart for safety net health facilties working to prevent the spread of coronavirus. International Community Health Services in Washington was among the recipients of donated supplies. (Photo: Lara Cooper/Direct Relief)

By edhat staff

While the state of California is sheltering in place and the news seems to go from bad to worse on a daily basis, it's easy to forget all of the good things happening in our community. 

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is serious and local organizations and community members are coming together, with proper social distancing, to help in all kinds of ways.

Direct Relief, a Goleta-based medical aid nonprofit that helps on a global scale, has already shipped 250,000 N95 masks and personal protective equipment to roughly 1,000 safety-net health facilities in all 50 states. 

The Santa Barbara County Foodbank has expanded its food distributions and is urging community members to donate food to those who need it, as well as the Organic Soup Kitchen offering hermetically sealed meals ensuring sterile packaging. One805 is also asking for donations of masks, gloves, sanitizer, and medical clothing that can be left at a drop box at 2000 State Street.

Below are just a few good things that are happening in our local area and ways you can help.


Local businesses need your help and we urge you to help in a safe way. Here are some ideas courtesy of the Downtown Santa Barbara Organization and U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

1. Buy Gift Cards: Call or visit the website of your favorite bar, winery, brewery, restaurant, theatre, or local retail store and purchase a gift card to help fund the business. If you engage in a weekly happy hour, take that money and put it towards gift cards at your favorite establishment for future use. 

2. Order To-Go or Delivery: View the below lists of restaurants offering take-out or delivery and support them. Plan a date night with your special person by ordering from a local restaurant for a cozy night in.

3. Leave Online Reviews: Post positive reviews online for your favorite places to share good vibes.

4. Tip More than Usual: Delivery people, chefs, and food preppers would greatly appreciate a little extra through tips.

5. Donate: Think about organizations that you use or appreciate in your local community. If you're able, send a little bit their way to keep them afloat.

Anyone who appreciates the work we do at edhat is encouraged to subscribe or donate here. We greatly appreciate your helping us keep the community informed and engaged, especially during such difficult times.


Emergency Food Distributions at the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County will distribute free, healthy groceries and fresh produce to the community at the following locations. No documentation or pre-registration required. Everyone is welcome. Measures have been taken to ensure the safety and cleanliness of each site. Click here for the current locations.

Anyone with food to donate, including fruit from trees and garden vegetables, can drop food off at the Santa Barbara Warehouse (4554 Hollister Ave) or Santa Maria Warehouse (490 W. Foster Road). More information on food donations available here.

Organic Soup Kitchen Expands Service

Organic Soup Kitchen is rapidly expanding services and providing organic, nutrient-dense soups to everyone throughout Santa Barbara County. Their goal in the months ahead is to provide their immune-building soups to all Santa Barbara residents without turning anyone away. This includes families with children, seniors, low-income residents, those with underlying health conditions and anyone else who wants delicious, clinically backed soups delivered to their home.

To learn more and to donate click here.

Photo of a past Foodbank Distribution Center

Restaurant Delivery & Take Out

There are several places to find out which local restaurants are offering delivery and take out services.

The Restaurant Guy

Downtown Santa Barbara Organization

Visit Santa Barbara

Senior Shopping Times

There are several local grocery and supply stores offering senior-only times for people over 65 years of age and/or with underlying health conditions.

Albertsons, Gelson's, Ralphs, Target, Vons and more are offering special times throughout the week for the senior population.

View the full list on edhat here.

Ways to Support Local Restaurants & Employees

Support SB: Offers a list of local businesses where you can purchase gift cards

Give Local: Also offers a list of restaurants to purchase gift cards and asks for the community's help to add more restaurants.

Acme Hospitality GoFundMe: The organization that manages six restaurant locations within Santa Barbara, including The Lark and Loquita, launched a Gofundme campaign for direct support of their 350 dedicated employees while on temporary furlough. 100% of the funds received will go directly to continuation of medical benefits, food supplies, and small emergency grants to cover living expenses. 

ACME Hospitality Employees


Resources for Employers and Employees: The City and County of Santa Barbara have put together a comprehensive list of resources for local employees and employers on how to manage finances, apply for loans, or register of social services. 

COVID-19 Business Resource Guide: Created by the Economic Development Collaborative, this guide provides numerous resources and information for local businesses.

Grants & Financial Support: Local nonprofits have pledged over $1 Million to support COVID-19 relief efforts in the form of grants for any community member and/or business who is struggling financially.  


Managing News Anxiety: Cottage Health put together tips to stay positive and healthy in the age of scary news.

Self Care Strategies: The Santa Barbara County Department of Behavioral Wellness provides suggestions on how to take care of yourself during self-isolation and social distancing.

Tips to Cope with Emotions: The American Red Cross addresses ways to cope with the multitude of emotions that may arise during this time.

Mental Wellness Center: To remind you that you are not alone, the Mental Wellness Center is providing lunch Monday - Friday for Fellowship Members, providing one-on-one support, and support to residential sites. 


School Lunch Pickup: Local schools are offering free lunches for pickup to all students. 

Library Access: All local libraries are offering free services online filled with books, audiobooks, movies, and more. Visit the website for your local library to learn more. 

Free Audio Stories: Local company started by two moms, Pipilo is offering free audio stories for kids at home from ages 0-12. All stories are available in English and Spanish and have an emphasis on nature connection and social-emotional learning. A free month is currently being offered.


ASAP Cats is offering a drive-thru on Friday for those looking to foster adoptable cats while working from home. Learn more here.

Santa Barbara County Animal Services: If you are interested in adoption, please go to to view adoptable animals. If you would like to schedule an interaction with one of our dogs, cats or rabbits, please call one of the shelter locations, Santa Barbara at (805) 681-5285, Lompoc at (805) 737-7755, or Santa Maria at (805) 934-6119. Learn more here.


All COVID-19 related news and announcement can be found on edhat. More information about COVID-19 can be found at the Public Health Department's website at

Contact us at to add more resources to this list.

Login to add Comments


Show Comments
TJTom Mar 21, 2020 09:20 AM
Community Good in the Time of COVID-19

It is very disappointing that the people pictured in the Food Bank distribution line are not practicing social distancing. Perhaps a line monitor should be assigned to educate the people.

a-1584814145 Mar 21, 2020 11:09 AM
Community Good in the Time of COVID-19

TJTOM, good on you for having a watchful eye, tho' note the caption below the photo indicates that it's a "Photo of a past Foodbank Distribution Center".

Please Login or Register to comment on this.