Seattle-based FareStart prepares food in kitchens to be distributed to organizations where people are in need of food. COURTESY PHOTO, FareStart

Seattle-based FareStart prepares food in kitchens to be distributed to organizations where people are in need of food. COURTESY PHOTO, FareStart

FareStart hits 5-million meals mark since pandemic struck

Nonprofit distributes food throughout Seattle area, including Kent organizations

Since the start of COVID-19 in March 2020, the Seattle-based nonprofit FareStart has provided more than 5 million meals to Seattle-area organizations that serve youth, adults and families, many of whom are experiencing food insecurity.

FareStart provides meals to several organizations in Kent, including the Kent YMCA; King County Housing Authority sites at Birch Creek and Walnut Park; and at King County’s isolation and quarantine center at the former Econo Lodge hotel, according to an email from a FareStart spokesperson.

The meals have been distributed to over 80 nonprofit organizations and 365 sites, according to a Sept. 12 FareStart media release.

“FareStart was founded upon the idea of nourishing communities and our kitchens have served millions of meals throughout King County for three decades,” said Angela Dunleavy, chief executive officer of FareStart. “When the COVID-19 pandemic began, we doubled down on our efforts to ensure individuals and families across the region did not go hungry. We are truly thankful that these collaborations allowed us to provide more meals in support of our neighbors who were most impacted by the pandemic. As the country learns to live with COVID-19, we remain committed to serving those who lack access to nutritious food.”

In addition to organizational collaborations, the support from the Seattle community through financial donations and volunteers have contributed to FareStart’s ability to provide these meals and disrupt poverty, according to the media release.

“FareStart has been on the frontlines of the response to COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Shoko Toyama, chief development officer at Plymouth Housing in Seattle. “We are grateful to receive these meals as they have been a lifeline to our residents during this public health crisis. About 61% of Plymouth residents are 55 or older and 95% live with at least one disability and/or significant health concern. Many of them are at high risk of experiencing complications if they become infected with COVID-19. The meals delivered by FareStart not only nourish our residents, they have also reduced feelings of isolation and improved the relationships between residents and our staff.”

Financial donations also support FareStart’s job training and employment programs, which have been operating virtually throughout the pandemic, according to the media release. The job training program recently welcomed its first group of students back for in-person learning; a group of half a dozen students will be training in kitchens and production facilities, gaining on-the-job skills that support FareStart’s hunger relief and food security work.

FareStart, which started in 1992, will continue to produce meals for undernourished and food-insecure communities across the greater Seattle area. Financial donations to FareStart are welcomed and encouraged, and volunteer opportunities are also available. To donate or volunteer, visit

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Photo courtesy of Federal Way Public Schools
FWPS to celebrate the opening of two new schools

The community is invited to tour the new Star Lake Elementary and Evergreen Middle School buildings on Oct. 12.

Kent-based Puget Sound Fire expands community assistance programs

Social worker to join nurse on FD Cares response team; Safe Station to offer substance abuse treatment

Kent to add red-light cameras at six more intersections in 2023

Cameras already exist at six intersections and pay for body-worn cameras used by police officers

King County Local Dive podcast
Tale of the freeway rock thrower | King County Local Dive

A podcast for King County residents featuring top local stories.

Report finds racial disparity among Washington homeowners

Changes to real estate and lending industries, funding and policy revisions are recommended in order to bridge homeownership gap.

Stock photo, Metro Creative Graphics
Median property values up in Kent and other South County areas

Increases of 24% on Kent’s East Hill; 20.4% on West Hill

Kent Mayor Ralph proposes a status quo budget to help fight inflation

Higher salaries, costs cause mayor to stay away from new initiatives in 2023-2024

An apartment at the new Madison Plaza Apartments in downtown Kent at West Meeker Street and Madison Avenue. STEVE HUNTER, Kent Reporter
Apartment rents flat in Kent in September but up 8.2% from 2021

No price increase after slight drop in August from July; median one-bedroom rent at $1,470

King County prosecutor candidates Jim Ferrell (left) and Leesa Manion debate Sept. 28 at Carco Theatre in Renton. The forum was moderated by Renton Chamber of Commerce CEO Diane Dobson (center). Photo by Cameron Sheppard/Sound Publishing
Prosecutor candidates debate court backlog, working with police, restorative justice

King County voters will choose between Jim Ferrell and Leesa Manion in Nov. general election.

Most Read