Dixie Fire camp staff load up their vehicle for another food bank delivery. Photo submitted

Recycling at the Quincy Fire Camp benefits local food banks and nonprofits

Two little-known organizations, and an agency well-known throughout California, are at the Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds Fire Camp to perform all of the housekeeping duties for a small city of approximately 2,000 Dixie Fire firefighters.  This support effort also directly benefits area-wide food banks and other non-profit organizations in a significant way.

ZeroHero, a nation-wide company, plus a California-based subcontractor WEgenerative and the California Conservation Corps (CCC), work as a team to do waste diversion, including waste management, recycling and resource reallocation.

Contract funding for these services is granted as a part of the National Greening Fires Initiative.  This program recognizes the disproportionate waste created by Fire Camps, which come to support Fire Operations, and seeks to minimize the impact on the infrastructures of local communities while benefitting the communities through the resource reallocation aspect.

As a result, according to Sophia Nielsen, Waste Diversion Lead for the Dixie Fire and owner of WEgenerative, “approximately 2,500 pounds of non-perishable and about 1,500 pounds of perishable surplus foods have already been directly distributed into the local community.”  This distribution takes place through an informal network of food banks and other non-profits — existing organizations that are already helping those in need in general and now also helping evacuees from the Dixie Fire.

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A few of the organizations involved in this informal distribution network are:
*  Plumas Crisis Intervention & Resource Center (PCIRC) including the Community Action Network (CAN) and the Portola Family Resource Center (PFRC)
*  Eastern Plumas Community Assistance Network (EPCAN Food Bank), Portola
*  Labor of Love – a new Christian community service group based in Quincy
*  High Sierras Family Resource Center – led by a group of community volunteers in Loyalton

Although this is not an all-inclusive list, this gives an idea of the breadth of organizations in the County that provide support under normal circumstances and in this time of crisis.