Since 1995, FareStart has operated as a training center and restaurant, providing solutions to poverty, homelessness and hunger. Today, it’s a vital community resource for many in need. Their nonprofit model is based on one commonality we all depend on: food.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, showcasing FareStart’s mission is fitting, especially for those looking for local volunteer opportunities! As we see it, their food-centric programming can be boiled down to three seemingly simple, yet life-changing notions: Need, Knowledge and Nourishment. FareStart programs embrace those in need, provide fundamental knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the service industry, and nourish both program members and community members through the power of food and gathering.
While the cycle of homelessness can feel inescapable, FareStart’s youth and adult culinary programs provide an opportunity to overcome. Enthusiastically supported by our community, corporate partners and individuals alike, FareStart offers four, multi-week programs free of charge where students learn the skills necessary to succeed in the food service industry and life. Students receive practical work experience in FareStart restaurants, cafes, and catering programs (which provide meals to social services, shelters and schools in the Seattle area). FareStart also provides free housing to culinary students while they’re enrolled in the program – acknowledging that it’s difficult to make real life changes if you don’t have a safe place to stay.
Their recipe is a proven one, as 91 percent of program participants secure jobs within 90 days of graduating.