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Foodbank of Santa Barbara County launches fundraiser to replace totaled semitruck
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Foodbank of Santa Barbara County launches fundraiser to replace totaled semitruck

From the May 15 recap: Solvang news you may have missed this week series
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An online fundraiser was launched this week to replace a Foodbank of Santa Barbara County semitruck that was totaled Monday after overturning in front of Vandenberg Air Force Base. 

After filing a claim, the Foodbank received $20,000 of insurance money, the maximum payout on the policy, according to spokeswoman Judith Smith-Meyer. Such vehicles typically cost $120,000 each, she added.

The Foodbank is hoping to raise $240,000 to purchase two refrigerated trucks in an effort to replace the totaled truck and, also, handle expanded distribution operations as food demand has increased throughout the county since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. 

"We're distributing and sourcing twice and much food," Smith-Meyer said. "This accident kind of drove home the point to us that [one truck] is doing too many trips for us." 

Yardi Systems, a Santa Barbara-based company that develops software for rental property management, already has pledged a $50,000 matching donation to the campaign, Smith-Meyer said, adding that the refrigerated trucks are needed to transport and maintain perishable food. 

The truck was transporting more than two tons of food and water from the Foodbank's Santa Maria warehouse to the Boys and Girls Club in Lompoc when it overturned as it rounded corner of Highway 1 in front of the base. 

The truck's driver and passenger, both Army National Guard soldiers, were uninjured in the incident, which is being investigated by the California Highway Patrol's Buellton branch. 

National Guard troops arrived in Santa Barbara County to assist with Foodbank operations days after a March 20 order issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom in response to the pandemic. 

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