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With a festive atmosphere that was befitting a birthday party, Lompoc community members and civic leaders joined with officials from the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County on Wednesday to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Lompoc’s Alma Cena Sana center.

The community food access center, which was the first of its kind offered by the Foodbank, initially opened its doors at Lompoc’s El Camino Community Center on May 24, 2017. Wednesday’s anniversary celebration, which included balloons and other decorations noting the one-year milestone, featured healthy food tastings, cooking demonstrations, family-friendly activities and a live performance by a local singer.

“I’m very proud of the way the program is growing every week and all that we have accomplished this first year,” said Sonia Sandoval, the Foodbank’s Healthy Neighborhood coordinator. “I’m optimistic about what we can do in the future.”

Over the past year, in addition to providing healthy groceries, cooking demonstrations and nutrition education, Alma Cena Sana has also offered yoga and Zumba classes, vegetable planting opportunities, visits from the mobile library and smoothies made on the kid-powered blender bike.

Foodbank CEO Erik Talken said he’s proud of what the center has accomplished over its first year.

“Under Sonia’s diligent care, Alma Cena Sana has become truly a force for health in Lompoc,” he said. “We’re happy to see the success of a program that is guided from within the community.”

Community supporters and partners who participated in Wednesday’s celebration included Campeones del Cambio, Home Depot, the Lompoc Public Library, the Lompoc Family YMCA, Wells Fargo, Healthy Lompoc Coalition and Hancock College.

For more information on the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, visit

Reprinted from the Lompoc Record.

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