Earth Day every day MLK Children’s Center Students collected items for TerraCycle

Martin Luther King Children’s Center, a school district before and after school program on the campus of MLK K-8 Elementary School, collects a variety of items for recycling with TerraCycle.  The Children’s Center collected drink pouches, used toothbrushes, empty toothpaste tubes, empty beauty bottles, cheese wrappers along with dairy tub containers and sends them postage paid to TerraCycle.  MLK Children’s Center earns about $.02 per item.

TerraCycle then converts the collected waste into a wide variety of products and materials. TerraCycle’s purpose is to eliminate the idea of waste. Founded in 2001 by Tom Szaky, then a 20-year-old Princeton University freshman, TerraCyle began by producing organic fertilizer, packaging liquid worm poop in used soda bottles.

Since then Terracycle has grown into one of the fastest growing green companies in the world. Terracycle is creating national recycling systems for previously non-recyclable waste.  MLK Children’s Center is just one group of 20 million people collecting waste in over 20 countries.

TerraCycle has diverted billions of units of waste and used them to create over 1,500 different products available at major retailers ranging from Walmart to Whole Foods Market.  The goal is to eliminate the idea of waste by creating collection and solution systems for anything that today must be sent to a landfill.

So far, MLK Children’s Center has sent in 18,146 drink pouches alone. Staff, students and families collect these items from their homes along with collection tubs in the school cafeteria at lunchtime. It’s a great way we celebrate Earth Day everyday! Good for the environment, community and especially the children.

Here are some accolades from the students:

“Terracycle is cool because we help the environment by recycling our trash.” — Leiomi Gastinell, sixth grader

“It’s so easy to save and bring in the items.” — Alyson Eystad, fourth grader

“It’s a good way to help the environment and the children’s center without doing anything hard or extreme.” — Elise Ledesma, sixth grader

Kristen Encinas is the Head Teacher at MLK Children’s Center

Land Park resident launches campaign to attract Whole Foods Market

Earlier this year, Land Park resident Whitney Roberts decided to put up a Facebook page devoted to Sacramento Whole Foods fans who would like to see a store in the planned project area of Curtis Park Village.
“We are a neighborhood of people who value healthy eating options, and we’re willing to pay for them,” Roberts said. “We are using social media because people are too busy to go into the stores and fill out comment cards. It’s much easier to click a button and know that you’re heard.”
The proposed project is at the abandoned Western Pacific rail yards off of Sutterville Road, behind Sacramento City College via a traffic roundabout at Donner Way and 24th Street.
The property is owned by Paul Petrovich of Petrovich Development Company, Sacramento’s largest retail developer.
While Whole Foods has made no formal announcement that it plans on moving into the area, Roberts says the high-end, natural foods retailer at Curtis Park Village would be an ideal fit.
“It’s centrally located, easily accessible from two freeways, near a college campus, nestled in an affluent neighborhood and nowhere near another one of their locations,” she said.
In the last few months, the “Bring Whole Foods to Land Park” Facebook page has collected nearly 300 “likes” from people stating that they “strongly want a Whole Foods Market.”
Even some city leaders are using their own social media profiles to support the cause.
“It’s a great area,” said Joseph Devlin, spokesman for District 5 Councilman Jay Schenirer. “Who wouldn’t want to move in to Curtis Park Village? Whole Foods would be a welcome addition to the neighborhood.”
District 4 Councilman Rob Fong was one of the first city leaders to post his support on Facebook. He was also one of the “yes” votes for Curtis Park Village, a mixed-use urban infill project with retail spaces and housing.
“Councilman Fong believes the vision put forward by Petrovich Development will add many amenities and residential options to Curtis Park and other surrounding neighborhoods,” said Lisa Nava, spokeswoman for Fong. “Whole Foods would be a wonderful addition.”
The question that remains is whether Whole Foods is right for an area that is already served by two similar markets offering high-end, organic products — Taylor’s Market, which is celebrating 50 years of doing business in Land Park, and newcomer Sunflower Farmers Market in South Land Park.
“Whole Foods, as far as I’m concerned, is a high-end grocery store,” said Curtis Park resident Robert Palmatier. “If you bring a Whole Foods Market here to Curtis Park, it’s like placing a Super Wal-Mart smack in the middle of a small hometown with mom-and-pop stores. It’ll take everything away.”
Courtney Clendenin disagrees. She and her sister Jaime Silva own The Sandwich Spot on 18th Street in Land Park, just a couple of blocks from the proposed area.
“We’ve just celebrated our third year at this location and we welcome the new business and new customers that Whole Foods would bring,” Clendenin said.
Terri Shettle, Executive Director of the Sierra Curtis Neighborhood Association, declined to comment only to say, “We have not taken a position on the issue regarding bringing a Whole Foods Market to the area.”
Whole Foods Market announces new store openings with its quarterly financial earnings and, for now, has not announced plans for Curtis Park. The next Sacramento-area Whole Foods is set to open in October in Davis.
“Whole Foods Market appreciates the interest and excitement that our current and potential customers have around a store in the Curtis/Land Park area,” said Jennifer Marples, Whole Foods Market spokeswoman.
Whole Foods Market currently has locations at 4315 Arden Way in Sacramento, 1001 Galleria Blvd. in Roseville and 270 Palladio Drive in Folsom.
Trace L. Johnson, Vice President of Leasing for Patrivoch Development Company, did not return phone calls seeking comment about the latest developments on Curtis Park Village as of press time.

elizabeth@valcomnews.com

Taste and see: Friends of Sutter’s Fort to present two events – one culinary, one haunted

Sutter’s Fort will be the site of two upcoming events, which will serve as fundraisers for the Friends of Sutter’s Fort.

A Taste of History

DINNER SERVICE will be provided by Plates Café, a division of St. John’s Shelter Program for Women and Children. / Photo courtesy, Friends of Sutter’s Fort

DINNER SERVICE will be provided by Plates Café, a division of St. John’s Shelter Program for Women and Children. / Photo courtesy, Friends of Sutter’s Fort

The first of these events, A Taste of History, will be held on Saturday, Sept. 24 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

This event will feature some of the city’s top chefs, who will use 19th century recipes and add their own modern touches to them.

One of the event’s major sponsors will be Whole Foods, which will provide quality produce that will be used throughout the evening.

The event will begin with a reception, and wine, beer and hors d’oeuvres will be served while guests will have the opportunity to interact with the chefs, who will be preparing various levels of their dishes in the fort’s period facilities.

The event, which will also include live, historic, acoustic music, will be highlighted by a four-course, seated dinner, which will begin with a chicken mole salad prepared by Jay Veregee, executive chef of Old Sacramento’s Ten 22 restaurant.

Lisa Mealoy, executive director of the Friends of Sutter’s Fort, said that when it comes to early Sutter’s Fort history, presenting a Mexican-type dish at this event is very fitting.

“One of the things that people don’t necessarily know is that California was actually a part of Mexico,” Mealoy said. “During the time of Sutter, there was a lot of excitement and transition with Mexico and Sutter was very involved with the Mexican government. So, we’re talking about highlighting the chicken mole, the Mexican aspect of things.”

Also taking part in the event will be Patrick Mulvaney of midtown Sacramento’s Mulvaney’s B & L restaurant.

CHEFS PREPARE FOOD on the fire pit at Sutter’s Fort during last year’s A Taste of History event. / Photo courtesy, Friends of Sutter’s Fort

CHEFS PREPARE FOOD on the fire pit at Sutter’s Fort during last year’s A Taste of History event. / Photo courtesy, Friends of Sutter’s Fort

Mulvaney will be preparing local, grilled, king salmon with American River fennel and West Sacramento heirloom tomatoes. The dish will be paired with pinot noir wine from Rail Bridge Cellars of Sacramento.

Mealoy said that it will be a pleasurable experience to have such fine chefs at the event.

“They are Sacramento’s local celebrity chefs and they are extraordinarily talented, but they also happen to be extraordinarily nice people, who are very generous in the community and lots of fun to get to work with,” Mealoy said.

Tickets to this fundraiser are presently being sold for $85 per person.

For additional information regarding this event, call (916) 323-7626.

The Haunted Fort

The second upcoming event presented by the Friends of Sutter’s Fort will be the very timely fall event, The Haunted Fort, which will be held on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28 and 29 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

An official Sutter’s Fort news release notes that the fort was “once a portal for weary pioneers (and) again serves as the gateway to their restless spirits, who return to tell the tales of their lives and melancholy deaths at this special family-friendly event.”

WARM WELCOME. Brightly colored table décor welcomes guests to last year’s edition of A Taste of History. / Photo courtesy, Friends of Sutter’s Fort

WARM WELCOME. Brightly colored table décor welcomes guests to last year’s edition of A Taste of History. / Photo courtesy, Friends of Sutter’s Fort

The Haunted Fort will feature 45-minute, guided, in-the-dark, “spooky,” historic tours of the fort that will present characters from different eras of the fort’s past. These tours will begin about every 10 minutes.

Mealoy describes this event as an opportunity to hear about “dark and creepy and intriguing stories of the pioneers and people of Sacramento who came through and had some sort of relationship with the fort.”

Continuing, Mealoy said that guests will meet people who will be portraying such characters as former Sutter’s Fort curator Harry Peterson and members of the Donner Party.

“(Guests) will learn about the characters themselves and why they’re so fascinating and why they may have left their marks, their spirits, here at the fort,” Mealoy said. “They all have very dramatic stories. And part of the goal behind this (event) is to help people see that we have tremendous stories that are a part of history that go way beyond just the dates and the numbers and the facts and the figures.”

As for actual ghosts at the fort, Mealoy said, “We do have reports of ghosts and ghosts sightings here (at the fort), but it’s all in one’s belief. But any stories that we hear, nobody seems to feel that there’s anything malevolent or threatening here, and this event itself is intended to be a family event. It’s not a horror house type of event.”

Admission for The Haunted Fort event will be $6 for ages 17 and older, $4 for ages 6 to 16, and free for ages 5 and younger.

STEP TO THE BEAT. A Taste of History will include live, historic, acoustic music. / Photo courtesy, Friends of Sutter’s Fort

STEP TO THE BEAT. A Taste of History will include live, historic, acoustic music. / Photo courtesy, Friends of Sutter’s Fort

For further information regarding this event, call (916) 445-4422.

Friends of Sutter’s Fort

Because proceeds from both of the aforementioned events benefit the Friends of Sutter’s Fort, Mealoy believes that it is important for the community to be informed about this nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization.

Although the Friends of Sutter’s Fort is only about three years old, it evolved from the Sacramento Historic Sites Association, a much older foundation that supported Sutter’s Fort, as well as the California State Railroad Museum, the Stanford Mansion, the California State Indian Museum and the California State Capitol Museum.

Eventually, the Sacramento Historic Sites Association was divided into individual cooperating associations that were dedicated to specific state parks.

Volunteers are absolutely essential to the success of the organization, which also operates the trade store at Sutter’s Fort.

In regard to The Haunted Fort event, Mealoy said, “(The volunteers) help in the research for the stories, because it’s important to us that they be historically accurate. They help to design the scenarios, they help to put everything together and they just knock your socks off. There’s no way that this event could happen if we didn’t have (the volunteers).”

BREW MASTER Brian Cofresi of the River City Brewing Co. will prepare a special brew for this year’s A Taste of History event. / Photo courtesy, Friends of Sutter’s Fort

BREW MASTER Brian Cofresi of the River City Brewing Co. will prepare a special brew for this year’s A Taste of History event. / Photo courtesy, Friends of Sutter’s Fort

Mealoy said that having a foundation specifically dedicated to supporting the historical programming at Sutter’s Fort is very beneficial in continuously improving upon the functions and activities of this longtime popular state historic park.

For additional information regarding upcoming Sutter’s Fort events, visit www.suttersfort.org.

‘Meals for Health’ program at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services a resounding success

During April, Whole Foods Market partnered with the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services and EarthSave to teach a group of low-income Sacramento residents a healthier way to eat. Participants celebrated with a “graduation ceremony” on May 7.
Whole Foods Market partnered with the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services and the non-profit EarthSave organization to sponsor a “Meals for Health” program that taught low-income Sacramento residents how to improve their lives through healthier food choices and exercise. / Valley Community Newspapers photo, Susan Laird

Whole Foods Market partnered with the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services and the non-profit EarthSave organization to sponsor a “Meals for Health” program that taught low-income Sacramento residents how to improve their lives through healthier food choices and exercise. / Valley Community Newspapers photo, Susan Laird

The “Meals for Health” educational program involved lectures from national leaders in the “plant-strong” and “whole foods” areas of nutrition and exercise, physician supervision and boxes of healthy foods. It was an inaugural program at the food bank that organizers hope to learn from…and to hopefully “roll out” nationwide.

According to EarthSave, which provided the curriculum for the program, “hunger and obesity are often flip sides of the same malnutrition coin. Both hunger and obesity can be symptoms of poverty. Obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, bowel diseases, arthritis and a host of other degenerative conditions are rampant in communities experiencing food insecurity. Being poor and having serious health problems create nearly insurmountable obstacles to success.”

EarthSave is a nonprofit non-profit organization dedicated to helping people “make food choices that promote health, reduce health care costs and provide greater health independence.”

Participants learned from national nutrition leaders and speakers on topics such as “The Starch Solution,” “The Amazing Digestive System,” “The Pleasure Trap,” “How to Eat Whole – and Why Should I?” and “Healthy Living Made Easy.”

The results from the four week program were astonishing.

Not only did every single participant graduate from the program (organizers had anticipated up to a 30 percent dropout rate) – they thrived. On average, each of the 21 participants:

  • Dropped 30 points in total cholesterol
  • Dropped 21 points in LDL (bad) cholesterol
  • Dropped 7 points in fasting blood sugar
  • Lost 17 pounds
  • Dropped 10.4/10.3 points in blood pressure

Dr. Donald Forrester, supervising physician, noted that all participants had improved skin tone, a reduced (or eliminated) need for medication, a better sense of balance and an overall better sense of well-being. Several participants, who started the program on canes, graduated on their own two feet – no walking aids necessary. One diabetic observer, who followed the guidelines for the program along with the participants, dropped 100 points in fasting blood sugar – without medication.

“No one had any complaints about the program,” Forrester said.

The Sacramento Whole Foods Market located at the corner of Arden Way and Eastern Avenue donated over $5,000 worth of whole food products that participants learned how to prepare and enjoy.

“Whole Foods Market is an active participant in the local community,” said Christina Clarke, marketing team leader for Whole Foods. “Our core values at Whole Foods Market include caring about our communities and promoting the health of our stakeholders through healthy eating education. The Meals for Health Program is a great way for (us) to support community members and show our commitment to promoting healthy eating education.”

“Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services is thrilled to partner with Earth Save on the wonderfully successful and impactful Meals for Health program,” said Kelly Siefkin, communications director for the facility. “The results participants earned through modifications in their diet are tremendous. We hope to teach many individuals who access programs at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services about the benefits of eating a plant-based diet and the simple steps they can take to positively impact the health of their family.”

Leaders at EarthSave concur.

“I want to thank you for all sticking with it,” John Robbins, founder of EarthSave, told the graduates. “It’s your example that will speak to people. You are now on a pathway to health and increased opportunities. Once your eyes are opened to something – you ‘can’t not see it.’ Eating healthfully is one of the most compassionate things you can do for yourself.”

For more information and videos about the Meals for Health program in Sacramento, visit EarthSave’s website at www.EarthSave.org.