FareStart Transforms Lives Through Training and Food

FareStart’s COVID-19 Response & Recovery activities advanced the organization’s mission: to transform lives, disrupt poverty, and nourish communities through food, life skills, and job training. In 2020, FareStart drastically shifted their programs and operations to meet both the long-term and short-term needs of the community in response to the pandemic. Throughout the crisis in 2020 they convened with partners and scaled operations to provide hunger relief to thousands of low-income individuals. Farestart created a new job training curriculum and strengthened their programs and services for the COVID-impacted environment. 

Last year our donations helped FareStart prepare and deliver nearly two million meals during the height of the COVID crisis (March – December 2020), feeding some of the most vulnerable individuals in the greater Seattle area. Alongside hunger relief, FareStart provided case management and support services for students and graduates as they restarted job training programs virtually. Farestart also made over 100 job placements for individuals needing work during that time period. Collectively since March 2020, FareStart and their Catalyst Kitchens by FareStart membership network have served over 15 million meals nationwide. 


Job Placements In 2020


Pandemic Meals Delivered


Students Currently Enrolled

FareStart continues to prepare and distribute roughly 7,000 prepared meals per day for low-income youth and families, senior citizens, those living in supportive housing or experiencing homelessness and others in isolation and quarantine.

Fall 2020 saw the return of FareStart’s job training programs, Adult Culinary Program, Youth Barista and Youth Culinary programs back with virtual training. Designed with input from local employers, FareStart programs now provide a blend of interpersonal, professional and technical skills with new curricula including computer skills, cash handling, financial literacy and more self-empowerment training. They have also increased interactive skill-building in customer service using curriculum developed with employer partners such as Starbucks. FareStart’s expanded employment partners and job placements include more diverse opportunities such warehouse and fulfillment, high volume food producers (frozen and ready-to-eat-meals), retirement communities and building services. 

FareStart remains focused on creating pathways toward long-term economic mobility for students by exploring ways to increase the retention and job placement rates of students who identify as Black, Indigenous or people of color (BIPOC). 

This year, with support of organizations like us, FareStart has 89 students enrolled in Adult Culinary, Youth Culinary, and Youth & Young Adult Barista programs, with 66 youth and adults having graduated from he program. They have facilitated 43 job placements, and have partnered with 86 nonprofit organizations across the country to further their mutual aid goals.

Images courtesy of FareStart