FareStart's 29th Annual Gala Livestream Auction

October 20, 2021

FareStart’s 29th Annual Gala Auction on Sunday, October 17 was an incredible evening, as we came together as a community to celebrate our mission to transform lives, disrupt poverty and nourish communities through food, life skills and job training. Although we could not be in a room together in person, we felt the love and support of our community as you tuned in virtually.

If you missed the event, you can watch the full live broadcast of the FareStart Gala on our YouTube channel.

Our heartfelt thanks to our auction committee, volunteers, event sponsors and donors, restaurant partners and our community who truly made this a special celebration, while also raising $1.4 million to support our work to provide real solutions to poverty and hunger.  Special thank you to our wonderful food partners Jerk Shack, Lark, Metropolitan Grill and Musang who provided incredible, curated culinary experiences for guests to enjoy at home. 

During the gala, FareStart’s CEO, Angela Dunleavy shared, “There is a huge gap in the hunger relief and food security landscape that FareStart meals have been able to fill. The resilience of our students and their ability to show up and learn in a virtual setting; many of whom haven’t learned how to turn on a computer and we have been able to teach those technical skills. It has also been an opportunity for us to take the time and find innovative approaches to not only food security, but what it really means for our students and staff to find meaningful personal stability and get taken on that path towards economic mobility. It has been an amazing journey and I think everything we are learning is taking us to a bold new place. We’re so steeped in racial equity, justice and belonging, and really centering our work around that.”

We would like to extend our gratitude to our event sponsors: Amazon, Microsoft, Cornerstone Architectural Group, The Boeing Company, Alaska Airlines, KPMG, Starbucks, Charlie’s Produce, Caffe Vita, PCC, MOD Pizza, Slalom, U.S. Bank, Baird, Whole Foods Market, Canlis, DocuSign, Nayamode and Sellen Construction.

During the FareStart Gala Auction, we featured Donna’s (she/her) story. ‘She entered FareStart’s Adult Culinary Program during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and is a graduate from one of the first fully virtual cohorts. After experiencing the loss of her son, as well as a period of homelessness and addiction, Donna came to FareStart hoping to build new skills and receive job training that would support her goals and values.’ 

“The impact that FareStart has had on me has been so profound, letting me see that I am limitless, and opening that door for me to walk through so I can open it for someone else,” Donna said. Learn more about her story.

We also shared Omar’s (he/him) story. ‘Omar joined FareStart’s Youth & Young Adult Barista Program during the pandemic. Omar’s eagerness to learn, his work ethic and dedication quickly made him stand out in the program. Because of Omar’s outstanding performance and stellar attitude, Omar was selected to be an intern at MOD Pizza.’

“These programs have given me a chance to believe. A chance to do something better with my life and have a positive impact that helps not only myself, the people around me, the people I work with, but it’s for the whole community, working together.” Read his full story here.

Additionally, we highlighted the incredible food recovery and security work our partners, The Bellevue Urban Garden (tBUG), Rainier Valley Food Bank, Friends of the Children Seattle and Plymouth Housing provide. We are able to work together to provide delicious nutritious meals to our neighbors who are food insecure.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for supporting FareStart’s job training and food security programs. Together, we are working towards our vision that every individual has the opportunity to thrive in an equitable and just world.