Responding to COVID-19
Nourishing Our Communities
As the effects of COVID-19 continue to spread, millions of people living paycheck to paycheck are unemployed, shelters are experiencing dramatic spikes in the number of people they serve and many of our most vulnerable neighbors have lost access to food.
FareStart and its Catalyst Kitchens members are ramping up to meet the rapidly growing demand. Together, we are producing and delivering more than 350,000 prepared meals a week to help alleviate hunger and food insecurity in our communities.
Many of those at risk are the people we train and serve every day. Locally, we continue to support students with housing, meals, counseling and other services. We are also assisting graduates who have been laid off due to this crisis.
Visit our blog for additional updates.
FareStart Seattle Area Response
FareStart is on the frontlines of King County's COVID-19 response, bringing together partners across the Seattle area to help ensure people don’t go hungry. We're also supporting students and graduates who have been hit hard by the crisis.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, FareStart has provided over 700,000 emergency meals to organizations across King County that serve youth, adults and families who are low income or experiencing homelessness.
We have been working with incredible food partners to help us expand our meal capacity including Seattle Seahawks, First & Goal Hospitality, Gourmondo, Taylor Hoang Restaurants, Edouardo Jordan and MOD Pizza.
Our kitchens are preparing meals that are going to more than 100 sites including Downtown Emergency Services Center, Plymouth Housing, YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs of King County, Seattle Public Schools, King County Housing Authority and King County COVID-19 isolation and recovery sites.
FareStart and its partners are maintaining the highest levels of safety following all CDC guidelines including social distancing and enhanced sanitation protocols to ensure people are safe.
As we expanded emergency meals, we temporarily hired FareStart graduates and other food workers who have been recently laid off.
While our job training programs are temporarily paused, we continue to support students in a variety of ways including housing, meals, counseling, virtual case management and job placement support.
As we have temporarily closed our restaurant, cafes and catering businesses, we redeployed staff to support emergency meal production to ensure staff continue to work.
We remain in close contact with government and community partners such as King County, City of Seattle, Seattle Housing Authority, United Way, Food Lifeline, Seattle Public Schools and YMCA to assess and fill food insecurity gaps.
Catalyst Kitchens National Response
Catalyst Kitchens, FareStart’s national membership and consulting initiative, is supporting more than 80 nonprofit members across North America as they navigate COVID-19, and in many cases, pivot to prepare emergency meals.
FareStart and its Catalyst Kitchens members are preparing more than 350,000 meals per week to support hunger relief efforts in communities across North America. To support this expansion, many members have revamped their restaurants, cafes and other spaces to serve as meal production kitchens.
Members are finding new and innovative ways to support students and clients in continuing culinary education through online learning modules and remote wraparound support services.
The Catalyst Kitchens team is collaborating with Feeding America, REDF and other nonprofit partners to support the COVID-19 response efforts.
We created a COVID-19 Emergency & Mitigation Toolkit to guide members through crisis response and management.
Catalyst Kitchens developed a curated COVID-19 resource webpage dedicated to emergency response efforts.
We are building connections through weekly IDEA groups and a members-only Slack channel so members can collaborate and share innovative response initiatives.
We are providing access to financial and in-kind support, so members can support the growing demand for emergency meals in their own communities.