News Release

Carbonzero Awards Community Micro Grant (CCMG) Program Funding

June 6, 2023

The Carbonzero Community Micro Grant (CCMG) program awards funding in the amount of $5,000 to Community Connections Society of Southeast B.C (CCS). Funding has been used to purchase a freeze-dryer that will help CCS divert thousands of pounds of otherwise wasted food and distribute it to vulnerable community members.

Carbonzero’s Community Micro Grant Program Provides $5,000 in Funding to Community Connections Society of Southeast B.C

Carbonzero is pleased to announce the inaugural recipient of the Carbonzero Community Micro Grant (CCMG): Community Connections Society of Southeast B.C. The CCMG Program, created by Carbonzero in 2022, aims to facilitate community-based greenhouse gas emissions reduction projects that require additional sources of funding to achieve their intended results. The CCMG represents a way for Carbonzero to support local communities by providing financial assistance to Canadian-based organizations like CCS that have ambitious and feasible GHG emissions reduction projects.

The Project

Food waste has become an increasingly glaring issue in Canada, with 58% of food produced being lost or wasted. To combat this statistic, Community Connections of Southeast B.C. proposed a project through its CCMG application that will work to divert tens of thousands of pounds of food that would otherwise be wasted.

CCS plans to recover food from three major grocery stores in Southeastern B.C and dehydrate it using commercial grade freeze-drying equipment. Dehydrating the food before it spoils will allow CCS to work with local food support agencies to distribute the food to vulnerable community members without access to cooking facilities. Funds provided by Carbonzero have gone directly towards purchasing the freeze-drying equipment necessary to bring this project to life.

After receiving the CCMG funding and purchasing the freeze-drying machine, CCS started experimenting with the types of food they can recover and distribute. So far, they have successfully dehydrated berries into tasty snacks, vegetables into a nutrient-rich powder, eggs, beef and liver into treats for pets, and they have even created freeze-dried meals such as spicy chorizo cannelloni, which can be reconstituted easily by adding hot water.

“Community Connections Society of Southeast B.C is thrilled to have been named the recipient of Carbonzero’s Community Micro Grant program”, says Meredith Funston, Food Programs Coordinator at CCS, “This funding allows us to recover food that would otherwise have gone to waste at great scale, so we can help more people in our community get access to the nutrition they need.”

Social and Environmental Co-Benefits

The primary environmental co-benefit of this project is the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions occurring through the diversion of food waste. When food is sent to landfill, it decomposes and releases methane, a greenhouse gas 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

By saving and dehydrating large amounts of organic food that would otherwise be wasted, CCS will prevent the anaerobic decomposition of food in landfills, and thus decrease methane emissions. CCS will be putting food to its highest use, and fully honouring the energy inputs used to grow, store, transport, package and distribute that food. Carbonzero estimates that this project will reduce over 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) in GHG emissions from being released each year.

The project also has important social co-benefits for the Southeastern B.C community. With the rising cost of food, more and more Canadians are becoming food insecure. In B.C alone, 15% of households experience food insecurity. By providing access to readily edible food, CCS will increase accessibility to nutrition to vulnerable community members struggling to obtain food for themselves. Ensuring that those who are food insecure have access to readily edible food will increase resilience in the Southeastern B.C community.

“Carbonzero is very proud to be supporting Community Connections of Southeast B.C. as the inaugural recipient of the Carbonzero Community Micro Grant program funding”, says Dan Fraleigh, CEO at Carbonzero, “It’s a wonderful avenue by which we get to spark change at the community level, and we are looking forward to seeing the project achieve positive social and environmental impacts.”

Looking Ahead: CCMG 2023

Carbonzero is delighted to have received such positive response to the introduction of the Carbonzero Community Micro Grant (CCMG) Program in 2022. Initiatives such as these allow organizations to come together on projects that inspire sustainable initiatives, and spark conversations and ideas surrounding sustainability, reducing emissions, and community action.

The CCMG will open for applications again in the Fall of 2023, and we are looking forward to reviewing the next round of applications from ambitious organizations hoping to take climate action through community driven GHG reductions.

About Community Connections Society of Southeast B.C

Community Connections Society of Southeast BC (CCS) is a non-profit charitable organization that provides programs and services to Cranbrook and the East Kootenay Region. Since incorporation in 1982, CCS has provided integrated, accessible social services to individuals and families throughout the East Kootenay Region. To respond to community needs, they deliver quality services both directly and through community partnerships. Originally a women’s collective (Cranbrook Women’s Resource Society) formed to provide safe harbor to women fleeing domestic violence: the agency has grown considerably over the years and has taken in new programs in response to emerging local needs.

About Carbonzero

Carbonzero was founded in 2006 and has risen to become a leader in the design and implementation of corporate carbon reduction strategies and solutions in the emerging low carbon economy. Carbonzero helps transform organizations by aiding them in assessing, reporting, and reducing their emissions. Our approach, tools and services ensure that our clients can cost-effectively meet their carbon auditing reduction commitments while developing the framework for implementation of reduction activities.