Feeding the Community is at the Heart of Everything We Do

July 5, 2017

Every day at 3 p.m., you'll find volunteers, students and staff loading FareStart vans with cambros stocked with well-balanced, made-from-scratch meals for the daily shelter run. With a FareStart chef at the wheel, the vans head out to deliver 1,100 dinners to homeless shelters, transitional housing and low-income healthcare facilities throughout Seattle. At their final stop, volunteers and students, under a chef's guidance, serve 200 meals in a half-hour at the Downtown Emergency Service Center's primary shelter. 

For many of the adults served, it is their only hot meal of the day. FareStart has never missed a day delivering meals in 25 years.

"On a shelter run, you see the process come full circle," says Dani Knapstad, Community Meals kitchen manager. "The week before, one of our students may have been receiving a meal. Now, he or she is on the other side serving the meal. It's rewarding to see the hope and knowing the hard work a student has put in. Students begin giving back on their third day of training -- chopping vegetables that will be part of that day's dinner. While Phase 1 students are required to go on shelter runs, many continue to volunteer throughout the entire program because they're grateful and want to continue to give back."

"During the summer our need for shelter run volunteers increases," says Morgan Winkler, community engagement manager. "People rely on us to provide a daily meal, so we need volunteers every day of the year." Learn about how you can volunteer for the Community Meals Program.