Donating Food for Toilet Paper

By Scott Craig   |   May 7, 2020

Montecito community members are joining with Westmont to serve the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, which has distributed 2.25 million pounds of food during the COVID-19 response. Residents can drop off food at the rear parking lot of Montecito Bank & Trust on Coast Village Road on Saturday, May 9, between 9 am and noon or ask that donated food be picked up from their homes by emailing their address to or texting their address to (805) 450-5971. In exchange, donors will receive wrapped rolls of toilet paper. People can also make a monetary gift online at In the comment field, write “TP” and an address to get TP delivered – or write “93108” to donate TP to the 93108 Fund for laid off hourly workers in Montecito.

“The TP is just a gimmicky hook, but it’s a topical item these days and will, of course, be forever linked in history with the pandemic,” says Montecito resident and organizer David Taylor. “One can find TP a little easier than a month ago when our plan started forming, but ten to twenty rolls is a good addition to any household supply and also handy to share with needier neighbors.”

Scott Lisea, Westmont campus pastor, says he is recruiting Westmont students to help run the touch-free, drop-off line. “We’re trying to work broadly in the Montecito community to serve the Foodbank, which is hard-pressed right now,” he says.

Taylor and fellow Montecito dog-walker Edee Schulze, Westmont vice president for student life, came up with the idea for the event after witnessing the desperate needs of foodbanks across the country. The initiative also received 2,000 rolls of donated toilet paper from the local hotel industry. “Rather than just giving the TP to the Foodbank, we hope to leverage it into a much larger and more needed quantity of food,” Taylor says.

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County has served 85,000 individuals during the coronavirus pandemic, far more than during the 2019 government shutdown (51,000) and the Thomas Fire/debris flow (37,000).

“It’s deep within our tradition to care for people who need help,” Lisea says. “This volunteer opportunity will help families who need food in this crisis. The Foodbank does beautiful work feeding those in need.”


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