StopWaste Awards $580K in Grants for Reuse, Repair and Food Rescue
StopWaste has awarded a total of $580,985 in grant funding to 49 local nonprofit and for-profit organizations for projects focused on repair, reuse, food waste reduction, and food donation equipment. With funding amounts ranging from $5K to $20K per grant award, the program engages businesses and community-based organizations to reduce waste in Alameda County while helping to address some of the most pressing environmental and equity issues facing county residents.
“Our local community-based organizations and businesses have a critical role to play in not only preventing waste, but shaping a more resilient, inclusive economy,” said Wendy Sommer, StopWaste’s Executive Director. “We hope these grants give them a boost to develop and pursue innovative solutions to the challenges facing our environment. That can mean saving scientific equipment from the landfill and donating it to educators, rescuing surplus edible food for our vulnerable and unhoused neighbors, supporting local urban farmers to switch to reusable transport packaging or training high school students to learn how to repair electronics,” she added.
For example, Loved Twice promotes environmental conservation locally by encouraging people to reuse their gently used baby clothing. Through volunteer-led “sorting parties,” since 2005 the nonprofit has distributed over two million garments weighing over 296,220 pounds. “We provide a critical basic need to newborns and their families living in poverty in one of the nation’s most expensive regions, the San Francisco Bay area,” explains Founder and Executive Director, Lisa Klein. "This grant allows us to deepen our impact in Alameda County by keeping hundreds of infants warm with one of life's basic necessities ... clothing,” she said.
Led by long-time urban farmer and educator, Wanda Stewart, Common Vision is dedicated to redistributing healthy food to feed people and building community resiliency. The idea started when Stewart began bringing produce from her home garden to share with people at school gardens. The dire need in the community for healthy, nourishing food was evident.
“It occurred to me that this is a great way to transform our school gardens into Food Hubs, where people can come for food that we give away, and also start to associate the school garden as a source for food and community resilience,” she said. If we take care of the categories of people who need the food most we’ll be taking care of all of us. And we're not just rescuing edible food from the waste stream so it doesn’t end up in landfills, we're taking what isn’t edible and using it for compost to close the cycle.”
Recently Common Vision formed a partnership with grocery delivery service Good Eggs to recover and redistribute surplus food at their school Food Hubs and throughout the community, and with the support of a grant, aims to expand upon these food recovery and redistribution efforts, utilizing school farms as central hubs for local food system networks.
Examples of other grant-funded waste prevention projects include:
ReThink Disposable, a program of Clean Water Fund, received a $20k grant to partner with Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD), to replace harmful single-use foodware with non-toxic reusables to be used during daily food service.
RRR Computer promotes digital inclusion through the repurposing of computing devices. A $15K grant will allow them to refurbish 50 high-quality MacBook laptops, and provide coding classes and technical support to students from disadvantaged backgrounds at Hayward's Tennyson High School.
Interfaith Sharing is an all-volunteer food pantry serving working families, immigrants, seniors and the unhoused. A $5,500 grant will be used to purchase a refrigerator/freezer in order to rescue and store more food to feed people in Livermore.
StopWaste acknowledges the many thoughtful grant proposals submitted and is looking forward to seeing the impact of the projects as they are implemented. The next grant cycle is planned for February 2022. Explore a searchable list of past and current grantees and their awards and to sign up to be notified of future grant cycles visit www.StopWaste.org/grants.
Watch the short film, “Food as Medicine: Community, Health & Resilience,” produced in partnership with Bay Area Green Tours featuring Common Vision, as well as grantees Berkeley Food Network and Essential Food and Medicine (EFAM).