Our newest non-profit partner at Bethesda Green, growingSOUL — Sustainable Opportunities for Universal Learning — is closing the gap in the loop between fresh food production, distribution and waste in the area.  Working with other non-profit organizations, local restaurants, small farmers in Montgomery County, and the community-at large, growingSOUL is raising awareness of the critical importance of creating a zero-waste sustainable food system.

It is all made possible by each citizen doing their part to rescue vital nutrients, diverting them out of our waste stream by sorting and recycling their food scraps (including meat, dairy and oil that others will tell you cannot be composted safely at home).  The scraps can be brought to the local farmers market or collected by calling on growingSOUL’s waste-vegetable oil fueled mobile compost station for business, home or community pick up.

The nutrient dense compost made from local community food scraps at the nearby growingSOUL farm is shared with farmers who grow fresh food for Manna, our local food bank, helping Montgomery County residents, 25% of which are at risk for hunger.  The compost is also used in the new Montgomery County Public Schools’ (MCPS) vegetable gardens, recognizing the need to provide more fresh produce in public school lunches, including  the 31.1% of MCPS children who qualify for free or reduced cost lunches.

To find out more about how YOU can contribute to creating the healthy soil in which good food and strong communities grow and thrive, contact Program Director Jessica Weiss at info@growingSOUL.org or 301-537-7422, or visit their website: www.growingSOUL.org.