To our Food Cyclers, 


What a year!  COVID has impacted so many and it continues to disrupt. Yet, in the face of it all, our incredible environmentally-aware community is still motivated.


It is for you that Solana Center has navigated our own COVID challenges. Using PPP and other grants, coupled with some programming pivots, we have stayed open.  We have not laid off any staff and we continue to serve our motivated audience and community.


Nevertheless, some efforts are proving more challenging to continue without some changes and updates, particularly as a small non-profit.  Food Cycle is one such program.  Enthusiasm and increased participation are straining our ability to subsidize the costs. At the same time, under pandemic conditions, we are not able to engage volunteers to help with the labor needed to run Food Cycle – from building compost piles and sifting finished compost to cleaning buckets. 



The reality is COVID has changed how people eat and where people eat – and it is mostly at home.  We see it in the volume, the number of households bringing two buckets, and the frequency of the drop-offs.  That our Food Cycle participants, who are adjusting their lives in so many ways, are still motivated to participate is a testament to our community and its conscientiousness.


Many have been dropping off two buckets though they are only paying for one monthly drop-off.  Two buckets used to be the exception; but today it is the norm.  For a few months, we carried that expense, thinking it would be temporary.


And without the ability to have dedicated volunteers help handle these tasks that are now happening with greater frequency but without additional income, Food Cycle is becoming a financial strain on our organization. 



To keep the program going, we have to be firm on service levels.  Effective immediately, we will be enforcing the one-bucket rule for those with Basic Memberships.  At this time, we won’t be raising prices; they remain:

● Basic Membership is $15/month, covering 1 full bucket drop-off each visit

● Expanded Membership is $25/month, covering 2 full buckets each visit


Administratively, this is our only option.  We want you to continue with Food Cycle, we want to offer this capability, but we cannot subsidize the additional volume of the program under the current economic conditions.  If you'd like to updgrade your account to the Expanded Membership option, feel free to respond to this email, or talk to our helpful store staff when you are at the Center next. 


We are a non-profit. We are highly dependent on volunteers and donations.  If you used this program beyond your previous membership levels over the last 6 months, we truly applaud your dedication to sustainability and we were happy to handle the extra load.  If you are able, please consider a tax-deductible donation, which would be incredibly appreciated.  Donate Now


Thank you for understanding,



Thank You! Orange Banner

Solana Center for Environmental Innovation
137 N. El Camino Real
Encinitas, CA 92024
United States
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