Sustainability Council seeks to build on food recovery program |

Sustainability Council seeks to build on food recovery program

— Yampa Valley Sustainability Council Program and Development Director Anne Mudgett said Wednesday her organization will seek to expand this year on its food recovery program which, working in tandem with the student dining hall at Colorado Mountain College, has succeeded in re-routing 2,600 pounds of food to Sk8 Church and LiftUp of Routt County.

“We want to expand the program this year to (involve) three restaurants and at least a couple more not-for-profit’s,” Mudgett said. “It’s streamlined, and it’s really a chance to get high-quality food into the hands of people who are food insecure.”

The nonprofit organization Campus Kitchen estimates that, in an era when one in six Americans still don’t know where their next meal is coming from, 40 percent of the food produced in the U.S. each year is wasted.

Mudgett said that, already, several local churches have shown interested in becoming involved in the local program.

Mudgett told interested local officials at YVSC’s monthly meeting, including Routt County Commissioner Cari Hermacinski and Environmental Health Director Scott Cowman, that CMC’s buffet line, including a selection of cold foods, is ideal for recovering unused food. She added that Heather Savalox, of Cowman’s staff, has worked closely with the initiative on food safety issues.

Alternative fuels

Hermacinski reported the county’s road and bridge department is collaborating with Maria Eisemann, of the Northern Colorado Clean Cities Coalition, to inventory its vehicle fleet and evaluate the potential to replace some vehicles with electric vehicles or vehicles that can run on compressed natural gas.

The Northern Colorado coalition is one of almost 100 such groups that represent the foundation of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program. It has been estimated that Clean Cities has saved more than 7.5 billion gallons of petroleum since 1993.

YVSC Executive Director Sarah Jones said the organization has 60 home energy audits scheduled in June and is working with Energy Outreach Colorado to audit five income-qualified homes and retrofit them with energy saving measures.

Another energy saving initiative, Jones said, recognizes that households in Oak Creek, which is not within the territory of Yampa Valley Electric Association, were not able to avail themselves of 2015’s Cen$ible energy program, which offered rebates for households that replaced incandescent lightbulbs with LED’s.

Now, with $2,500 in funding from Routt County and Alpine Bank, a limited number of rebates are available in South Routt. And Bonfiglio Drug in Oak Creek and Flat Tops Ranch Supply in Yampa are both stocking LED lightbulbs.

“We think it’s pretty much going to go through the month of May, and we’ll have gone through the $2,500,” Jones said.

Learn more under the energy program heading at

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1

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