Giving Back to the community with Emerging Leaders

By United Way of King County Posted on March 21, 2017 In Volunteer Events

Danielle Lancaster

Check out our guest post by United Way Emerging Leader, Danielle Lancaster. She is a Store Development Manager at Starbucks Coffee Corporation as well as a member of the Emerging Leaders Committee. She has a passion for a lot of the same things we do, like helping vulunerable people who live in Seattle through volunteerism.


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. On Saturday, 12 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.

Seattle’s Farestart may be best known as a critically acclaimed restaurant, open for lunch and Thursday “Guest Chef Night” dinners which are prepared by students in their Adult Culinary Program. It provides foodservice and life skills training for adults coming out of poverty, homelessness, addiction or incarceration.

Farestart offers more than a restaurant and catering services. Because they believe that too many people living in poverty have a diet of processed foods, and rarely get a warm meal. Thier students produce thousands of nutritious meals around Seattle to people who need it most. They make healthy meals for:

  • Daycare Centers
  • Schools
  • Shelters
  • Healthcare Centers
  • Head Start programs

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.

Feeling inspired? Join me and other Emerging Leader volunteers at one of our upcoming projects by checking out our monthly calendar.


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