If you happen to walk by, it might look like the typical downtown restaurant. But step inside and you’ll discover a whole new world.
The FareStart Restaurant, located at the corner of Virginia Street and 7th Avenue in Belltown, is far more than a place that serves food; it is a culinary job training and placement program for homeless and disadvantaged individuals. Since 1992, the program has helped nearly 7,000 people transform their lives.
Poverty is a perpetual cycle—especially for people who are homeless, in recovery, or previously incarcerated. For them, finding and keeping a job is a huge struggle. At FareStart, we help people overcome the barriers to employment by developing the work and life skills they need to have lifelong careers. In turn, their amazing talent and hard work fuels our social enterprise restaurants, cafes, catering and community meals programs. Everybody wins: Our Community gets great food. Our students get better lives. – FareStart website
Last year The Whole U started a partnership with FareStart in response the UW community’s interest in helping end poverty and homelessness. Faculty and staff have dined at FareStart to support its mission, volunteered as servers to help fund its programs, prepared meals to go to food shelters, and donated items to support students.
We can’t wait to celebrate this great year of giving on Thursday, July 28 with our second Guest Chef Night featuring our very own UW Club Sous Chef Ian Weaver.
Every Thursday night, a different Guest Chef works with FareStart students to prepare a three-course meal for about 200 guests served at the restaurant. Community volunteers serve the diners and 100% of the proceeds and gratuities from the evening goes back to fund student services and training.
The UW Farm will donate a portion of the produce and the UW Club will donate the rest of the ingredients needed to serve dinner for 200. Chef Ian Weaver will work with FareStart’s students to prepare a delicious three-course meal, which will be served by Whole U and UW Club volunteers.
Last year over 100 faculty, staff, friends, and family members came together at our special UW Guest Chef Night at FareStart. Carole Davison, assistant to the sr. vice president, Planning & Management, was one of the diners. “It was a terrific experience!” Carole said. “It was … a great introduction to learning about Farestart and the valuable, positive impact it has on individuals seeking a steadier course in their lives. Overall a really wonderful, memorable evening!”
A special part of the evening will be student graduation. Service will stop between 7:00 to 7:20 p.m. so that diners can learn about the students who are completing the 16-week program that evening.
Clara Peterson, special events manager at the College of Engineering, volunteered as a server last year. “The highlight of the evening was hearing the success story of a recent graduate who learned her trade in the kitchen at FareStart,” Clara said. “She now has an accomplished career as one of the head chef’s at the Hyatt. This is a hands-on organization teaching life skills that help individuals create and achieve their goals. Such incredible gratitude radiating throughout the room that evening!”
Bring your friends, family, and coworkers and experience first-hand the tremendous impact FareStart has on our community. You will enjoy a wonderful dinner while helping to rebuild lives and strengthen our community, and you will leave touched and inspired.
Food can be so much more than nourishment for our bodies and after my experience at FareStart I am even more convinced of that. Food has the power to bring people together, to create excitement and memories. At FareStart it helps rebuild lives.