Phyllis Theermann

We know this is a busy time of year.
But please take a moment to breath and enjoy the season.

Also, have a look at our Event Calendar because 2018 is already filling up with some fabulous events.

The variety is great. Some highlights are below.

Al Gore comes to Wellesley College!
Conservation Council talk at the Wellesley Rotary Club
Talks about eating locally & seasonally
Sustainable Wellesley party
Documentary and dinner evenings
Wellesley Green Schools summit
RDF’s talk on reducing food waste at the Hills Library
Grow your own garden talk at the Hills Library
Learn about raising backyard chickens
Author of Our Earth, Our Species, Our Selves: How to Thrive While Creating a Sustainable World speaks

Happy Holidays from all of us to all of you.

Matt Delaney Food Services Manager, Wellesley Public School. Champion of Food Recover Progra

Great news from Wellesley’s Sustainable Energy Committee:

“A number of schools and colleges in Wellesley and the Metro-West area will donate an estimated 20,000 meals this year to an organization in Cambridge that takes wholesome, edible surplus and leftover food and passes it on to people in
need.

Wellesley’s 3R Working Group – which consists of representatives from the Department of Public Works, the Sustainable Energy Committee, and the Natural Resources Commission – has been working with the Environmental Protection Agency/New England and the Cambridge-based non-profit Food For Free to develop a collaborative food rescue initiative. The food service vendors dedicated to its implementation include Whitsons Culinary Group, Rebecca’s Café, Sodexo, Chartwells, and AVI Foodsystems. The initiative delivers on the goals of the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge Program focusing on local K-12 schools, colleges and universities.

The collaborative food rescue program participants include Wellesley Public Schools, Babson College, Bentley University, Olin College of Engineering and Wellesley College. To date, over 4,000 pounds of food have been donated since September from Bentley, Olin and Wellesley Middle School; the program was rolled out in the other schools in recent weeks. With this critical mass of participating schools and colleges in place, other local organizations with serviceable leftover food will be encouraged to join.

Food For Free – a food rescue organization that distributed over 2 million pounds of food last year – is repackaging this rescued food into single-serve meals. Recipients may include people living in shelters, in temporary housing such as motels, in housing without full kitchens, and those receiving Meals on Wheels.

“Translating this dream into a realty has been a complicated challenge as there were few precedents of such a comprehensive and collaborative initiative,” said Ellen Korpi, Vice Chair of the Town’s Sustainable Energy Committee. “It took the support and guidance of the Wellesley’s school administration, food services vendor, and the health department to bring this project to fruition.”

“In order to make it worth our sending a truck to this area, we needed a minimum volume per pick up,” explained Sasha Purpura, Executive Director of Food For Free. “Because these institutions collaborated and came to us as a group, we were able to view this as a single collection, making them a viable food donation partner.”

“The commitment and teamwork of the food services organizations is key to the success of such an initiative,” said Alison Cross, 3R Working Group member and author of the program’s standard operation procedures. “They are responsible for moving the surplus food through the process of collection, storage and preparation for pick-up, while protecting the integrity and safety of the food.”

Wasted food is a growing problem in this country and an untapped opportunity. In 2014 alone, more than 38 million tons of food waste was generated and the EPA estimates that food makes up the single largest category of waste material in landfills, constituting a fifth of discarded municipal solid waste. Much of this wasted food is wholesome and edible and could be serving the one in six, or 52 million American households, that were “food insecure” in 2013, according to the US Department of Agriculture. “Food insecurity,” which describes a household’s inability to provide enough food for every person to live an active, healthy life, is one way to measure hunger. In Massachusetts today, it is estimated that one in ten people are food insecure.

One of the side benefits that stem from food waste donation programs, according to the EPA, is that organizations that donate food see new opportunities for reducing leftovers. The donation process creates an informational feedback loop for waste generators that inevitably reduces both their wasted food, and their food waste removal costs.

As the 3R Working Group recruited local colleges for this program, conversations with MassBay Community College, located in Wellesley, revealed that 52% of the students surveyed there, indicated they were food insecure. Food For Free is now working with MassBay to develop a program for these students to receive food from the Food For Free Family Meals program.

For more information, click here

Phyllis Theermann

As 2018 gets closer are you thinking about your bucket list? Some New Year’s resolutions?  Consider a role in town government!

Our fabulous Town Clerk, Kathy Nagle, put out a message to the town for those considering running for municipal office. Read on for more inspiration and details recently shared by her office.  Feel free to contact her at 781-431-1019 ext. 2250 with any questions.

“The Town of Wellesley depends on the active participation of citizens like you! We have 11 Boards and Committees elected at the Annual Town election this March. The seats on these boards are staggered so that one or two seats are elected each year for 3 year terms (Planning and Housing are 5 year terms).

Wellesley also has a representative Town Meeting for 240 members elected by voting precinct. Town Meeting Members have staggered three year terms so 10 are elected each year from each precinct. Town Meeting meets in March/April to vote on operating budgets, capital expenditures and bylaws for the town.

The process of our local elections begins with candidates obtaining nomination papers from the Town Clerk. Candidates then solicit signatures of registered voters and return the papers to the Town Clerk for certification.

Nomination papers are available beginning December 6, 2017 for both town-wide offices and town meeting members. Candidates must obtain papers for town wide offices on or before 5 pm January 12, 2018; and for Town Meeting on or before 5 pm January 26, 2018.

The offices on the ballot for the March 6, 2017 election are: 1 seat each for Board of Assessors, Board of Public Works, and Board of Health, and Moderator (1 year); Town Clerk (3 years); 2 seats each for Board of Selectmen, School Committee, Library Trustees, and Natural Resources Commission. Planning Board (one 5 year and one 3 year) and Recreation Commission (also 1 one year) have a regular seat to elect and an unexpired term due to resignations. All 10 Town Meeting seats for each precinct with some additional seat available due to resignations.

View a table of offices here: http://www.wellesleyma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/8311