The Community Action Agency of Butte County was excited to participate with the Jesus Center to be part of a grant that was awarded in the amount of $499,789.00 from CalRecycle! The grant is focused on food waste prevention and will help to create an expanded program where edible food that would otherwise be destined for the landfill could be picked up from potential donors, safely stored, and served to Butte County residents who struggle with food insecurity. Aside from the obvious benefit of helping to feed those in need, there is a huge environmental benefit in keeping excess food waste out of landfills.In a recent press release CalRecycle explains:
California Fights Climate Change by Feeding the Hungry
SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery has announced the first award recipients for its new Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program. As part of California’s comprehensive strategy to combat climate change, CalRecycle awarded $9.4 million to 31 projects throughout the state that:
Decrease the estimated 6 million tons of food waste landfilled in California each year, and
Increase the state’s capacity to collect, transport, store, and distribute more food for the roughly 1 in 8 Californians who are food insecure.
When sent to landfills, food and other organic waste decomposes and generates methane, a potent greenhouse gas with a heat-trapping effect at least 86 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 20-year span.
[Read the full press release here]
This grant will allow the Community Action Agency/North State Food Bank to increase mass cold storage capacity and technology to better collect, store and distribute rescued food. The increased cold storage helps the CAA's North State Food Bank to build on their extensive network and increase food distribution through all channels. Having the ability to safely store more food means we can keep up with fluctuations in supply and demand.
Dani Anguiano from the Chico Enterprise Record wrote:
With the new funding, the Jesus Center, in collaboration with the North State Food Bank and other community partners, will launch a program collecting edible food from grocery stores, restaurants, school districts and other community organizations and purchase new equipment to distribute food. Several restaurants and organizations, including Sierra Nevada Brewery and Chico Unified School District, among others, have agreed to regularly contribute to the program.
[Read the full article here]
Some of the rescued food will be delivered to the CAA's North State Food Bank and distributed through the organization’s extensive network of 50 sites, across the north state, with the grant providing expanded capabilities to accomplish this as well. A portion of the food will also be served in meals at the Jesus Center, prepared in part through the expansion of the Jesus Center’s kitchen vocational training program.
Community Action Agency CEO, Thomas Tenorio said:
"This award will be very helpful to the CAA’s efforts to expand the ability of our North State Food Bank to be a resource to low-income residents who are experiencing hunger as well as to the ag community who are key partners in our mission. The goal of promoting healthy food for all is an important one for our Food Bank. Students do better in school. Elderly do better at home and the tight budgets of families is supported. We’re looking forward to helping improve the quality of life and health in the north state."
The partnership between our two agencies offers a strong collaborative approach to food rescue efforts and the grant award is a true reflection of the opportunity that exists when local organizations unify to address a deep community need.
At Butte County CAA we provide hope to people struggling with poverty to become more self-sustaining by meeting tangible needs in the areas of energy savings, affordable food, and housing.