Providing community garden space for place-based learning, public health, nutrition education, and community empowerment.
The Isla Vista Compost Collective (IVCC) was founded by UC Santa Barbara students who wanted to provide an opportunity for youth to be part of the food waste solution. IVCC invites residents of Isla Vista to sign up for a free weekly composting service at the start of every academic quarter. Households receive a five-gallon bucket and composting guidelines, and food scraps are picked up once a week via bike and cargo trailer by IVCC ‘Dirtriders’ who are tasked with sorting the compost and transporting it to Estero Park where it is picked up by Marborg Industries or to St. Michael’s University Church and University United Methodist Church where it is added to their community compost pile. Participants receive feedback on how much and how well they composted that week and the household that produces the most compost is recognized via IVCC’s social media platforms. Currently providing composting services to 96 households, IVCC aims to eventually distribute the 1,000 pounds of compost collected weekly to farmers and gardeners in Isla Vista and Goleta to improve their soil health and agricultural returns, further closing the food system loopClosed Loop Food System: As opposed to a linear food system that follows consumption of food from field to plate to waste, a closed loop food system is a more sustainable model that follows food from field to plate to field with little or no waste..
IVCC’s Food On Wheels event takes place in the final weeks of each quarter, providing food accessFood Access: A person’s ability to access food while considering many barriers such as geography, transportation, availability of healthy foods, and affordability. to community members. Pre-COVID, volunteers would go door-to-door collecting nonperishable food donations that would be redistributed back to the community through UC Santa Barbara Associated Students Food Bank, Food Not Bombs – Isla Vista, and other local feeding organizations. “It’s our way of pushing back against food insecurityFood Security / Food Insecurity: Food security refers to the economic and social condition of reliable access to an adequate amount of food for an active, healthy life for all household members. A household is food insecure when food security does not exist. and food waste, especially at the end of spring quarter when everyone is moving out,” said Operations Manager Chloe McKerr. Since the start of the pandemic they have changed the event, instead setting up accessible donation stations in popular spots around Isla Vista where people can drop off nonperishables.