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Did you know one of every four people in Santa Barbara County lives with food insecurity? We used to call it going hungry, but times have changed.

More than 1000,000 of the county’s men, women and children fall into that food-insecurity category, and about a third of those going hungry are kids.

North County residents have an opportunity to help the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County relieve some of that insecurity misery. The Foodbank is joining with nearly two dozen restaurants countywide throughout September to raise funds.

Some North County participants are the Bear and Star, 2860 Grand Ave. in Los Olivos, First & Oak, 409 First St. in Solvang, and Industrial Eats, 181 Industrial Way in Buellton.

Here’s how the fund-raising deal works: This month the restaurants will donate $1 to the Foodbank for each purchase of a select menu item. Diners will never know the difference in what they pay, but rest assured that dollar gift is huge. Buying experts at the Foodbank can purchase enough food with a single buck to supply eight meals to folks who really, truly need the food. Last year the organization distributed enough food for more than 9.7 million meals, of which half was fresh produce.

Roses to those who see a problem, and actually do something to solve it. That’s what community is all about.

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In an era during which foreigners are vilified for trying to improve, or simply save the lives of family and friends, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown has stretched his hand of support across the border to Mexico.

About two dozen Mexican law enforcement officers and officials attended the Hancock College Public Safety Training Complex 10-day dignitary protection training course.

The course is especially relevant for our southern neighbors, whose country is torn by gang violence and drug cartel-driven turf wars. The neighborly gesture was organized by Brown’s department.

Such international cooperation is a bright spot in an otherwise dim situation, a lack of mutual respect and diplomacy between neighboring countries.

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Fresh roses to all who participated, and to the decision makers at Hancock College, which continues to provide important and timely programs.

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Speaking of crime, how would you like to do something to reduce youth violence and teen suicide? That’s an easy question to answer.

You can do just that by supporting the United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County, whose officials recently decided to branch out in the Santa Ynez Valley.

The organization launched a program at Buellton’s Oak Valley Elementary School in 2017 with a goal of serving about 20 youngsters. After just under a year, the program is serving more than 200 kids.

So, to relieve the pressure a bit, the clubs branched out to Solvang Elementary School, which has only been open a few days but already has nearly 50 youngsters in the program. Bravo, and roses.

In addition to Buellton and Solvang, the nonprofit United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County serves kids from k-12th grade countywide, and manages the 93-acre Camp Whittier near Cachuma Lake.

The goal is to help youth achieve academic success, develop good character and citizenship, and stick to healthy lifestyles. Those are all characteristics of a model citizen, which is what we all want our sons and daughters to grow into.

Because to not do that, to not give kids something constructive to do, is an open invitation for kids to get into trouble. Maybe Benjamin Franklin said it best — “Idle hands are the devil’s playthings.”

Ol’ Ben knew a thing or two about kids.

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