Farm to Freezer, a nonprofit that prepares and donates frozen food leftovers to homeless people in Bethesda, is up for a chance to speak at the TEDxManhattan event for “changing the way we eat,” in February.
After starting the effort this year, the group is one of five national finalists for the event that will be broadcast to local viewing parties of similar nonprofit groups and could open up some new opportunities.
Cheryl Kollin and Sue Kirk, executive director of the homeless prevention nonprofit Bethesda Cares, got together to create the program with a wide net of partners including area church commercial kitchens, Whole Foods grocery store and farmers who sell at the weekly Bethesda FRESHFARM farmers market.
Kirk told Kollin that Bethesda Cares had more fresh produce donated to them by farmers at the market then they could use without it wasting.
So she built a volunteer network that collected between 300 and 400 pounds of donated food a week and saved a portion of it in freezers either by making it into tomato sauces or by using other preservation methods.
After 20 weeks of the project, Farm to Freezer successfully gleaned 5,100 pounds of food from the market (much of it from Pennsylvania’s Spiral Path Farm) and left Bethesda Cares with 1,500 pounds of food in its freezer that will be used in hot meals served every day this winter to some of Bethesda’s more than 70 homeless people.
“It starts to connect all these various parts of what I call rebuilding our sustainable food systems,” said Kollin, who is a business consultant.
The farmers get tax deductions for donations, the homeless get food and the community gets informed about the homeless problem in Bethesda, Kollin said. The group also partnered with Montgomery County’s pre-release program. County prisoners months away from being released came to the market to help weigh and distribute items for preparation as a way to satisfy their community service requirements.
Kollin and Bethesda Green have hosted a local viewing party for the TEDxManhattan talks the past two years.
Now, Kollin has a chance to give it when it happens in February. She also hopes to bring back and perhaps widen the program next year.
For more information on Farm to Freezer and to vote, visit the website.
Photo via TEDxManhattan
Bethesda Urban Partnership workers closed off Fairmont Avenue at the corner of Norfolk Avenue on Thursday afternoon after Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Officials cleared the area.
A BUP worker said the BlackFinn American Saloon (4901 Fairmont Ave.) was one of the properties to lose power and it hasn’t been the first time. They reported power problems in the summer, similar to issues other Woodmont Triangle restaurants faced. In September, the owner of Olazzo (7921 Norfolk Ave.) told MyMCMedia he lost between $50,000 and $75,000 because of random power outages.
Fairmont Avenue remains blocked off near Veterans Park.
The Committee for Montgomery’s annual legislative breakfast will attract a number of big shots in state politics to the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center (5701 Marinelli Rd.) tomorrow morning.
The event traditionally kicks off local advocacy efforts for the upcoming Maryland General Assembly and perhaps no issue will be more important to county leaders than transportation funding.
At a “Transportation Summit” on Wednesday in Annapolis organized by Montgomery County leaders, County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) and Councilmembers George Leventhal (D-At large) of Takoma Park and Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac) pushed for a raise in the gas tax to pay for projects such as the unfunded Purple Line light rail.
In the past, leaders from Montgomery, Prince George’s and Baltimore Counties have found it difficult to rally support for a higher gas tax from other parts of the state. Leventhal said the 2013 legislative session seems like the best time to enact the hike with an election coming up in 2014, according to WAMU.
Maryland House Speaker Michael Busch will speak at the breakfast tomorrow, which starts at 7 a.m. Sen. Ben Cardin (D), Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D), Leggett and County Council President Nancy Navarro (D-East County, Mid-County) will be featured speakers as well.
The Committee for Montgomery is a coalition of leaders including county businesses, labor groups, civic associations and other community-based organizations. Its goals for the legislative session include an increase in the state gas tax. (The rest of its goals are in PDF format below.)
The Committee must get 85 percent of its 40 board members, from a wide range of backgrounds, to agree on priority areas, said spokesperson Barbara Henry.
“It’s a really diverse group of people on the Board, so it’s really interesting for us to get agreement on something between labor leaders, business organizations, civic organizations and everyone else involved,” Henry said.
Flickr photo by Montgomery College
Police now say a pair of attempted robberies on a recent weekend near the Bethesda Metro station are likely related:
At Woodmont Avenue and Montgomery Lane on Friday, 11/30 at 10:00 p.m. The suspects assaulted the victim and unsuccessfully attempted to remove property.
Suspects: Three B/Ms, 25-29, 5’10”-6’.
At Hampden Lane and Wisconsin Avenue on Sunday, 12/2 at approximately 1:00 a.m. The suspects approached the victim from behind. The suspects assaulted the victim and unsuccessfully attempted to remove property.
Suspects: Five B/Ms wearing ski masks
Also from Friday, Nov. 30, police are still searching for the two suspects who assaulted and robbed a victim over a Craigslist sale at an apartment on Battery Lane before cruising away in a white Lincoln Towncar or Ford Crown Victoria:
A robbery occurred in the 4900 block of Battery Lane, Bethesda on Friday, 11/30 between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. The suspects assaulted the victim and removed property.
Suspect: B/M, 20-26, 200-220 lbs, beard, dreadlocks; B/M, 25-30, 170-180 lbs, beard, dreadlocks;
The rest of the most recent Bethesda crime summary after the jump.
The 0.5-square mile town of just more than 2,800 people east of downtown is floating the idea of spending between $89,000 and $118,000 a year to run a midday shuttle from the Town Office to points in Bethesda that could include the Bethesda Metro station.
The idea was put forth by Chevy Chase At Home, a nonprofit senior villages organization that provides car rides, community events and other volunteer services to seniors in Chevy Chase who want to remain in their homes but need assistance.
Chevy Chase At Home Vice President Frances Pitlick said the multiple construction projects going on in Bethesda make it difficult for people in the organization to get to the area, even between rush hours. Many of the group’s participants live east of Connecticut Avenue, making a walk to Bethesda Row or any other popular Bethesda area too lengthy.
At a discussion of the proposal during Wednesday night’s monthly Town Council meeting, the group decided to develop potential shuttle routes through a committee before holding a public hearing sometime early next year.
Town manager Todd Hoffman said about 125 people responded “yes” to the question of using a shuttle between the Town and Bethesda on the annual Town survey. That’s about 35 percent of respondents.
The 14-person shuttle would run between rush hours and stop at as many points as requested by the Town. The contractor could provide it for a six-month or one-year timeframe the Town would use as a trial run. The company told Hoffman it can record how many people use the shuttle, though it would be difficult to pinpoint how many of those riders are from the Town or even Chevy Chase.
Most on the Council seemed to agree that people from outside the Town (including those who use the Montgomery County Recreation Department’s Jane E. Lawton Community Center next to the Town Office) should be welcome on the shuttle.
Hoffman detailed two options, a shuttle circuit from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays that would cost the Town almost $90,000 a year and one with a two-hour block in the morning and a two-hour block in the afternoon would cost $118,000.
Montgomery Leaders Want ‘Huge Infusion of Cash’ For Transportation — At yesterday’s transportation summit in Annapolis, Montgomery County leaders said the state must raise its gas tax to fund critical transportation projects as area roads get more congested. [Washington Post]
Popular Chinese Restaurant Owner Finds New Home — Fu Cheung, the owner of the the Foong Lin Chinese restaurant on Norfolk Avenue, has taken over management of Moon Gate (4613 Willow Ln.) Cheung had to leave his space of more than two decades earlier this year because of development in Woodmont Triangle. [Robert Dyer @ Bethesda Row]
Developer Holding Community Meeting On Wisconsin Avenue Apartments — Developer JBG Cos. will discuss its site plan application for a mixed-use development at 7900 Wisconsin Ave. in a meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center (4805 Edgemoor Lane). This is the part of the failed JBG/Montgomery County effort to build the new 2nd District police station that will go forward as a private project.