Second and third grade students from Isla Vista Elementary School, along with representatives from Panera Bread, First Pick Management and Foodbank of Santa Barbara County participated in a ceremonial seed-planting event at the Isla Vista elementary school garden. They were joined by Keyshawn Johnson, NFL Super Bowl champion, who is a member of First Picks Management team, along with his friend Anthony Henry, Dallas Cowboy great. A bevy of area Panera Bread store managers and Isla Vista school staff helped the children with aprons and garden gloves.

FoodBank – Panera Table

Mary Kahn, principal of Isla Vista elementary school and Oscar Carmona of the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County expressed their appreciation for the support being given to the program by Panera Bread. “It’s necessary for our kids to learn about the importance of fresh and nutritious food early on,” said Principal Kahn. The financial support and coffee grounds Panera is donating will help us encourage and inspire even more people to grow food at home, which will help augment the amount of food the Foodbank distributes annually,” said Oscar Carmona.

Mary Kahn, principal of Isla Vista elementary school & Matt Vine GM Panera SB


It was obvious the two football greats, Keyshawn Johnson and Anthony Henry loved helping the kids with their planting. Keyshawn gave a short talk before the planting to explain to the children how important good food is, and how much fun a home garden can be.

Matt Vine, General Manager of the second Santa Barbara Panera bakery café scheduled to open later this month, said “we appreciate the loyal patrons we have garnered since our La Cumbre location opened,” said Vine.  Panera Bread Company began in St. Louis, Missouri and today owns 1,625 franchises throughout the United States and Canada.


Keyyshawn Johnson with kids

Santa Barbara County Foodbank celebrates 30 years of eliminating hunger and food insecurity by distributing nutritious food, education and resources through its 300 member non-profit agencies. For additional information visit:




By Bonnie Carroll