Southern Oregon Food Solutions

Spring 2021 Newsletter

April 15, 2021

Greetings from Southern Oregon Food Solutions – We welcome spring and Earth Day 2021!

We chose not to meet during the winter, but that doesn’t meant nothing was happening.

We continued on our main focus as noted in our last newsletter: food diversion from landfills – the first level of which is redirecting surpluses to those in need, and the second level is composting, and then also education – about our local food system, and optimizing food systems in general.

We’re happy to say we’ve made progress on all these levels. And we’re also happy about the progress our friends and allies are making. Read on…

Food Surplus

Calling All Gardeners!
Have some extra fresh fruits and vegetable from your abundant garden?  There are 22 food pantries located around Jackson County that would love to help you get that food to people who need it.  You can find the location and hours of operation for a pantry near you at the ACCESS Food Pantry Network web site:  It is most helpful if you can bring the produce 15 – 30 minutes before the official opening time, so that they can integrate it into their offerings, though it is welcome any time they are open.

You can also donate surplus produce to the Phoenix/Talent Fire Relief Center at the Shoppes at Exit 24, 205 N. Phoenix Rd., Phoenix.  They are open on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from noon to 6:00.

We continue to partner with the Monday Meals group to help provide tasty food to those around Ashland that are in need.

We are offering a Rogue Valley Earth Day activity for participants to learn about composting as they complete survey. The results of the survey will help inform us about how best to increase composting in our community. Here is the link to Rogue Valley Earth Day. Check out all the activities that other groups have submitted.


The winter term of OLLI offered a class called “Understanding the Fight Against Climate Change” taught by Flavia Franco. It was a great experience to put the content together for the five sessions. The focus of the class was on the historical, political and cultural aspects of the fight. Fifty-four people signed up for the class, and thirty one finished the class.

To learn more about the science of climate change, Flavia took the Master Climate Protector course offered by SOCAN (Southern Oregon Climate Action Network). Here is the link about the class. It is offered once a year, and given our current climate situation, this course is highly recommended.

We worked in conjunction with Emerging Futures to develop a video on home food waste reduction.

To help families learn our tips about preventing food waste in the home, we provided a second activity for kids to do as part of Rogue Valley Earth Day. Participants will also be asked to make an ‘Eat Me First’ sign and take a picture of it and post it to the Eco Adventure App.

Here are what our friends and allies are up to:

Emerging Futures

Held a workshop April 5 called “Food Service during a Pandemic”.

  • Partnered with Recology to offer restaurants and institutions in the area to get certified as a Zero Waste Business to be entered in the Rouge Regenerative Business Directory.
  • Developed a series focused on reducing residential food waste.
  • Provided an activity for Rogue Valley Earth Day. The activity asks participants to complete a food waste calculator on line, which is found on their website.
  • The teaching videos they’ve created are on this Youtubechannel.

Rogue to Go

This is a program to reduce single use to-go containers. It launched in 2019 and grew to include 10 eateries thus far and is looking to expand to more. Each Rogue To Go (RTG) program exchangeable container (or token) costs $10 to start. If you used one of their RTG containers for a sandwich at your last visit, you can exchange it for another one, or an RTG soup container, or a token to exchange for a container in the future at any Rogue To-Go program participant. They now have an instagram account: @roguetogo

Cultivate Oregon

Cultivate Oregon, a non-profit project of Earth Island Institute, is focused on regenerative agriculture issues, and building local seed and food system resiliency.

They are seeking to build a Carbon Marketplace that allows farmers, ranchers, orchardists, vintners and other working land stewards to transition or expand their operations to help reduce greenhouse gases.
They are hosting a living soil awards ceremony April 21 at 5:30. Details are on their website below.

The Ashland Conservation and Climate Outreach Commission wrote a letter to the Ashland City Administrator and also to the Recology General Manager to ask for an exploration of the options and costs for residential and commercial composting for Ashland and possibly Talent.

Ashland Climate Action

This group has formed as a project of SOCAN that is hosting conversations every month on matters of interest and concern. It is also advocating with the city of Ashland to fully fund programs related to the Ashland Climate and Energy Action Plan (CEAP). And it is posting regular columns to the Lifestyle section of Ashland Tidings called Spotlight.

They effectively conducted a survey about concern around climate change in 2020 and received 225 responses. They are planning to conduct another survey in 2021.

Below is the link to their latest column, and also the link to the City of Ashland’s new climate energy website. They are looking to establish regular attendance at the Rogue Valley Council of Governments (RVCOG), to increase advocacy for climate change action. For more information contact

And a quick shout out to Jim Bronson and Sandi Goldie for teaching an OLLI class this spring called “Drawdown Update: Solutions for a Regenerative World”.

Thanks for all that you do! Community Together!

In addition to Earth Day activities – Here are other upcoming events for your interest and participation.

·       Love Your Water – Use it Wisely – April 22nd 1-2pm– Learn where Ashland gets its water from, how you can reduce and improve your water usage, and city water incentives. Julie Smitherman from the Medford Water Commission will be presenting. The event is free, but please sign-up to receive the Zoom link. Sign-up link –

·       Rethinking Waste – April 29th 1-2pm – Paying attention to how products are made, consumed, and then disposed of offer opportunities for change. By lowering these impacts, we can reduce emissions and the depletion of our natural resources. Join us as we share ideas to take action in our daily lives. Becs Walker, SOU, Jamie Rosenthal, Recology Ashland, and Risa Buck, Rogue To Go, will be presenting. The event is free, but please sign-up to receive the Zoom link. Sign-up link –

·       Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Day May 8, 2021
Rogue Transfer & Recycling in White City
8 am to 4:30 pm – Calling all household cleaning supplies, paint removers and garden chemicals! Our yearly Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Day is your chance to safely dispose of your household toxins — everything from drain cleaner and weed killer to bleach, household batteries and bug spray.

·       For some light hearted, creative fun, zoom in to this event – see flyer below. Here is the link to register: