OCS is committed to sustainable practices. We look at the entire food cycle and system, and integrate techniques to reduce waste. Through food rescue, we partner with retailers, Oberlin College and other institutions to salvage food that would otherwise go to waste. We have a three-bin composting system and waste reduction philosophy. Our seed bank allows people to share seeds and grow their own produce.
Food rescue, also called food recovery or food salvage, is the practice of gleaning edible food that would otherwise go to waste. Food from places such as restaurants, grocery stores, produce markets, or dining facilities is distributed to local emergency food programs such as OCS. Volunteer drivers are always needed to pick up food rescue items.
OCS is committed to eliminating waste from our pantry and garden. When produce isn't distributed in time (which we make every effort to do) and is no longer fit for consumption, we don't want it to be wasted. To address this, we set up a three-bin compost system. A large amount of food is composted this way and used to fill our garden beds. If we have extra compost, we donate it to the Legion Fields Garden compost or to individuals who raise chickens and use the decaying produce for feed.
The Oberlin Seed Banking Project is a local, grassroots initiative generated from a network of farmers, gardeners and visionaries with the hope of spreading gardening material and knowledge to the broader Oberlin community. Currently, the Project has two locations: The Oberlin Public Library and Oberlin Community Services.
Occasionally, we have furry friends visit who contribute their efforts. They are naturals at weeding!