Friday, February 22, 2013

Community Food Council Update

The Community Food Council for Del Norte and Adjacent Tribal Lands had a retreat the beginning of February to determine what projects they wanted to focus on in the coming year. After a packed day with a lot of brainstorming they narrowed their ideas to 3 main projects:

Tribal Fishery: With this project, the Council hopes to connect with the tribes in Klamath, and to expand local fish sells in Crescent City. There is a program called Fish for Elders the tribe does, and the goal is to expand this to the neighboring communities. Next steps involve making a lot of phone calls and doing some research around fish numbers and river issues. The subcommittee leading this has already begun the process of making phone calls to Tribal Leaders and the Fishery Department.

Local Market Conversion: This project has two main goals: To make more fresh fruits and vegetables available in stores and to develop a Del Norte Local Brand. To get stores to carry more fresh, healthy food the Council plans on utilizing the California Endowments Freshworks Fund. This subcommittee has begun approaching local store owners to see who is interested in this. As far as the brand, creating a Del Norte Locally Made Logo aims to create a sense of pride in the community, and to encourage stores to carry local items. Steps to do this involve researching “Buy Fresh, Buy Local,” defining local guidelines, designing the brand, seeking  approval, and doing PR.

Community Education Series: The third project is being planned as a series of classes to educate the community about food and gardening. This subcommittee is in the process of developing the class schedule and a time frame of classes. Possible classes include: Beginning gardening, Intermediate gardening, Cooking with real food, and Canning/preserving/seed saving. These classes will aim to develop people's skills and encourage them to live healthier lives.

If anyone is interested in helping out with any of these projects, please email Our next Food Council meeting is Monday, March 18th at the RHS conference room at 5:00pm. Everyone is welcome!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Highly Successful Recycling Program

The Recycling Program at Del Norte's School District has been flourishing these past 2 years thanks to the efforts of Recology, the Del Norte County Unified School District, Julindra Recycling, Lorie Poole, and the Children's Health Collaborative. July 2011 to May 2012 saw a 35% increase in monthly savings, while September 2012 to December 2012 saw a 37% increase in monthly savings. In it's first year, the recycling effort provided services to Bess Maxwell, Joe Hamilton, Smith River, and Pine Grove and expanded to Del Norte High School, Margaret Keating, Crescent Elk, Sunset High, and Redwood Elementary in it's second year.

The recycling program begins with a presentation at each school, which serves as an introduction to that school. This is followed by a week of Recycling training, where Recycling aide's are in the lunch rooms guiding the students and staff in placing items in the right cans. After this, the recycling aide's drop in from time to time to check up on the schools.

From September 2012 to December 2012, 1038 lbs of milk and juice cartons, 83 lbs of styrofoam lunch trays, 67 lbs of paperboard lunch trays, and 613 lbs of black plastic trays were recycled.

Recology also created a Poster Contest to reinforce the recycling program, Here are a few of the student's submissions:

Recology will continue this program and starting in September 2013, they will conduct lunch recycling training for all kindergarten classes, provide recycling presentations to individual classes upon request, do recycling projects, and work with managers and custodians to help manage the trash and recycle service. Thanks to everyone that made this program a success!