Responding to COVID-19

COVID-19 Emergency Response

Even in the midst of this crisis, FareStart is doing what it has done for nearly 30 years – feeding communities in need. We need your support during this unprecedented time.

FareStart Response to COVID-19

FareStart is on the frontlines of King County's COVID-19 response, bringing together partners across the Seattle area to prepare and distribute emergency meals to vulnerable groups impacted by the crisis including people experiencing homelessness, low-income seniors, youth and families and individuals at isolation and quarantine sites.

We are delivering meals to Downtown Emergency Services Center, Plymouth Housing, Pike Place Market Housing, Ronald McDonald House, King County isolation and recovery sites and other organizations.

We’re scaling up to produce up to 15,000 meals a day across FareStart kitchens and up to 50,000 meals in collaboration with foodservice partners as needed to meet the demand. As we work, we are maintaining the highest measures of safety, cleanliness and social distancing.

Many of those at risk are the people we serve every day. We continue to support our students with housing, meals, counseling and other services. We are also assisting FareStart graduates who have been laid off due to this crisis.

FareStart’s national program, Catalyst Kitchens, is supporting over 80 nonprofit network members and clients with emergency resources, consultation and protocols in response to COVID-19. 

Visit our blog for the latest information and response updates.


FareStart has launched a COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund to meet the emergency food needs in our community during this crisis and to ensure future support of vulnerable populations through FareStart programs and operations. The fund will support expenses associated with these most immediate crisis responses, including: 

  • direct food costs, and meal production and delivery expenses
  • staffing and labor emergency response costs 
  • student and graduate support, including housing, meals, necessities, counseling, employment support and virtual case management
  • increased costs associated with enhanced safety and social distancing protocols

It will also support recovery expenses, including:

  • re-launching FareStart’s training programs 
  • restarting FareStart’s restaurant, cafes and catering business
  • increased employment support in the post-COVID climate 
  • continuing provision of increased community meals 
  • student-related expenses that we expected to increase, including increased housing needs, intake support, outreach to potential employers, additional time in programs, as well as increased case management capacity and increased student stipends and supplies. 

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Other Ways to Get Involved

Restaurant and Foodservice Community Members

We know that unemployment benefits are critical for many people right now, but there is a way for you to receive ancillary income – and make a difference in our community.  Sign up to provide temporary, back-up support for FareStart staff as we scale up to provide emergency meals.

Sign Up Now

You can also contact us at

Organize a Fundraiser

If you are interested in hosting an event or activity to raise money for FareStart’s COVID-19 response efforts, please fill out our fundraiser form.

fundraiser form

Provide In-Kind Support

If you are interested in making a donation of product (food, clothing, hygiene items, etc.) or services (tech support, logistics expertise, etc.), please fill out our form.

If you are donating food, please read FareStart's food guidelines.

in-kind form


Out of an abundance of caution, we’ve temporarily paused on volunteer activities. This was a difficult decision since volunteers are such a critical part of our work. We are working to anticipate future needs.

In the meantime, please register for a future volunteer orientation. We’ll contact you as soon as we reopen positions. You can also contact us at

Other Resources

We have compiled some resources in an effort to help people navigate the COVID-19 crisis. They are meant to be a starting point for people seeking information or support.


Chef Wayne & Chef Seth talk about FareStart emergency meals

Chef Wayne and Chef Seth talk about FareStart emergency meals