This is a guest post by Danielle Lancaster, a Store Development Manager at Starbucks Coffee Corporation and member of the Emerging Leaders Committee.
In the heart of the Denny Triangle, tucked in between a multitude of shiny, newly erected skyscrapers, lies the Farestart Building. It’s part restaurant, part industrial kitchen, part classroom, and all heart. Last Saturday, twelve Emerging Leaders had the opportunity to get our hands dirty and contribute to this great organization by putting together 1,200 meals for our community’s most vulnerable citizens.
Farestart may be best known as a critically acclaimed restaurant, open for lunch and Thursday “Guest Chef Night” dinners, prepared by students in their Adult Culinary Program, which provides foodservice and life skills training for adults coming out of poverty, homelessness, addiction or incarceration. In addition to Farestart’s restaurant and catering services, these students also produce thousands of nutritious meals in daycare centers, schools, shelters, and healthcare facilities around the Seattle area 365 days a year.
Working alongside Chef Jerome and students of the Culinary Program, we prepped vegetables and chicken, made over 1,000 sandwiches, and compiled bagged lunches. It was a great experience chopping elbow-to-elbow with the students, and seeing their dedication to the program and to improving their situations. I was incredibly inspired by the fantastic work being produced by the organization. Graduates of Farestart’s Culinary Program have a 90% job placement rate within 90 days of completing their 16-week training.
We have another Farestart event coming up in March, and I’m already looking forward to spending another Saturday there!