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Agency Update - Summer 2022

Meet our New Grantees!

Our waste prevention grantees are not only leaders in innovative solutions to preventing waste, they are helping to build resilient communities in Alameda County. Take Hope 4 the Heart, an all-volunteer nonprofit that rescues edible food and provides weekly food deliveries to affordable housing and senior communities across the county. Or Make It Home, whose mission is to furnish homes of families and individuals transitioning out of crisis or homelessness with donated, gently used, repurposed furnishings and household goods. We welcome you to explore previous and current grantees on our website.  

Approximately $850K in grant funding will go to support 55 businesses and nonprofits working in five separate upstream focus areas: reuse/repair, food waste prevention, reusable foodware, food donation equipment and reusable transport packaging. Since 1996, StopWaste has provided more than $9 million in funding to local organizations and businesses. 

Honoring Leaders in Sustainability

Efficiency Awards

StopWaste celebrated six entities for their leadership in long-term sustainability at our StopWaste Efficiency Awards ceremony on June 9. StopWaste Executive Director Timothy Burroughs praised the award winners for their achievements. "We are proud to recognize these six entities for their leadership in our communities. Each in their own industry, they understand what it takes to achieve long-term sustainability, putting people at the center and creating a culture of equity, partnership, and inclusiveness. The 2022 awardees are true role models in our communities.”   

Awardees are: ZEISS Group at the ZEISS Innovation Center, Dublin; Altamont Creek Elementary School, Livermore; Just Fare, Oakland/Emeryville; Local Ecology and Agriculture Fremont (LEAF); and Daily Bowl & Daylight Foods, Union City. 

Community Compost Hubs

Compost Hub Alameda

Using compost is one of the best ways to create a healthy landscape and combat our drought. For edible gardens, compost helps grow healthier plants that produce higher yields of more nutritious produce.

To make compost more widely available, StopWaste is partnering with cities and community groups to form Community Compost Hubs, where community members can come and get free compost and learn how to grow healthy food. We launched the first Hub recently in Alameda in partnership with Farm2Market and the Bay Area Makerfarm, along with the City of Alameda, providing compost for urban farms and the community, including residents at the neighboring Alameda Point Collaborative. This new compost give-away model allows community organizations to be key messengers of the benefits of compost and supports SB 1383 compost procurement requirements for member agencies. The Hub is open to all county residents on Wednesdays and Saturdays, so grab a bucket and swing by! 

Employee Spotlight

Hugo Grégoire

Program Services Specialist

Originally from Montréal, Canada, Hugo Grégoire graduated from Cal State East Bay with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. He joined StopWaste in 2016 as an associate for the school’s team, and joined the Food Waste Reduction team as a Program Services Specialist in 2020. 

What do you do at StopWaste?  

As part of the food waste reduction team, my role at StopWaste is to advance food waste prevention and recovery efforts in Alameda County. To that end, I have the privilege of working with nutrition services departments in school districts as well as food recovery organizations doing incredible work across the county. 

To support the edible food recovery component of SB 1383, I also help coordinate StopWaste’s Alameda County Food Recovery Stakeholder Network where we convene food recovery and faith-based organizations to learn from each other's work, facilitate relationship building, and make the food recovery efforts in our county more effective, collaborative, and equitable.  

As a liaison to our Surplus Food Donation Equipment grantees, I work to support their efforts by making sure they have the right equipment to rescue more food and keep perishable food fresh for distribution, instead of being composted or landfilled.  

What is your favorite part about working here?  

The culture at StopWaste and the meaningful work we collectively do is what keeps me excited and inspired every day. I often say how lucky I feel to live in Alameda County and to have the opportunity to grow and work at StopWaste, an agency that values our feedback and invests in our growth so that we can better serve and bring progress in our county.  

What are some of the biggest shifts you’ve seen in your community work due to the pandemic?  

Although the pandemic has presented and continues to present many challenges to our work and community, it has also reinforced the need to collaborate and support one another. I am inspired by the way in which food recovery and faith-based organizations have reinvented how they operate in order to co-create solutions to bring resilience to our local food systems and keep serving our most vulnerable community members, despite the many obstacles brought upon by COVID. 

One of the most significant shifts and opportunities I have seen is participation in virtual collaboration. Through online virtual conferencing, we have been able to stay connected with one another, engage past and new stakeholders, and increase efficiency in our work. I’ve also really enjoyed seeing the influx of free online training and webinars that have allowed us to learn from others and strengthen our work. 

Do you have a life motto that you live by?  

I consider myself a realistic optimist – I see the many challenges our world faces but I know that we are many working toward viable solutions. This profound sense of optimism has enabled me to learn from all situations, to always find the positive in things, and to enjoy the present moment.  

Growing up in Québec, I lived through many harsh winters, including the 1998 North American ice storm that broke our electrical grid and caused a month-long power outage. Seeing the way our neighbors came together to help each other stay warm, ensure that everyone had access to food and water, and lift each other’s spirits taught me that people are innately good and that if we work together, we can overcome anything. I carry this lesson with me every day. 

What do you enjoy doing outside of work? 

I love to stay active! I enjoy hiking, camping, exercising, and anything else that gets me up and moving. On warm days, I like visiting local parks and reservoirs and spending time on the water. I’m also working on becoming trilingual. French is my native language, and I have been learning Spanish over the past eight years. It is very important for me to learn Spanish to be able to better connect and communicate with my husband’s family. I also love travelling and I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to travel more this year. Lastly, I love to cook and am always trying out new recipes to expand my plant-based menu at home.