Real Society: FareStart’s Shining Stars

FareStart stands out for its comprehensive support for those in need.

By Jonathan Sposato February 22, 2023

Photography by Grant Hindsley

This article originally appeared in the January/February 2023 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Image caption: Clockwise from upper left: FareStart Production Kitchen Trainer Eric Klein; auctioneer Fred Northrup; volunteers, from left, Christina Woelz, Pam Powers and Amy Hall; volunteer Cynthia Tran, left, and unidentified attendee. Photography by Grant Hindsley.

“Real Society” is a regular installment to create space for those who are quietly doing the good work to make our region stronger real people engaged directly with our community. Fancy parties are all good, but we bring to light the quiet heroes and better angels. These are their society pages. Our society pages.  

FareStart. A clever play on words connoting the ideas of fairness, a livable wage and new beginnings. Each year, this incredible nonprofit transforms lives, disrupts poverty and nourishes communities through food, life skills and the key to reentering society: job training. FareStart provides the tools and training that eager learners, be they formerly incarcerated or homeless, need for lasting employment in food service and the culinary arts. Heart and desire will only get you so far, but robust job training and stable employment are transformative for those eager to transition from surviving to thriving. It is fair to characterize FareStart as a creator of new lives. 

The nonprofit’s annual gala — most recently held in November — is widely considered one of the most exciting fundraising events to attend. Generous donors contributed more than $1 million for FareStart’s programs. None of it would have been possible without a legion of eager volunteers providing something even more valuable than money: time, sweat and smiles. Here, we provide an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at those who made it all happen. Sore feet, blisters and hoarse voices are a small price for hearts swelled large.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”  Margaret Mead


Clockwise from upper left: The 30th Annual Gala Auction was Nov. 6; from left, Farestart employees Renée Martin, Shannon Keith and Carrie Zanger; employee Wiley Carter; a packed. ballroom. Photography by Grant Hindsley.

Grant Hindsley

Here are three ways you can help.

  • Provide kitchen support. Support FareStart’s hunger relief efforts by preparing meals for the community. Shifts are available seven days a week.
  • Write letters for meal recipients. Write letters from the comfort of your own home and mail them to FareStart. Letters provide additional support and joy to the recipients of FareStart meals.
  • Support FareStart’s community market. Volunteers prepare and package fresh, healthy and essential meals alongside trained staff.

Interested in making a difference in someone’s life? Email volunteer@farestart.org.

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