Fight Hunger, Build Hope
Every day, people in Northeast Seattle are not able to feed themselves or their families. For almost 30 years, we have worked to address this struggle. We provide our Northeast Seattle neighbors with groceries to make nutritious meals for their families and serve as a vital gateway for other services, such as housing and employment resources, provided by community partners who join the effort to help our customers on their way to self-sufficiency. Our Fight Hunger, Build Hope Capital Campaign will build us a new facility specifically designed to help meet their needs.
Our current 800-square-foot space presents significant challenges for the Food Bank including:
- scant food storage and preparation space
- limited floor space for food shopping
- a lack of proper ADA access options
- people waiting in the rain and cold outside to bring home food
- inadequate refrigerated storage
Because of our limited cold storage space, some perishable donations—often the healthiest choices for families—are turned away weekly.
Our location severely compromises our ability to provide people with a healthy, safe and dignified shopping experience.
Fight Hunger, Build Hope is University District Food Bank’s three-year, $3 million capital campaign designed to greatly expand our distribution and storage capacity and enhance our ability to provide nutritious meals to families in need. This new facility will offer superior access to vital community resources and training that will help our customers lift themselves out of poverty.
1. Provide more clients easier access to nutritional ingredients for healthy meals. The new 6,500-square-foot facility will allow the food bank to ultimately double the number of families served, with 2,400 square feet of floor space to house our unique and award-winning grocery store model. The new building will welcome all our neighbors with a waiting area that provides a dry and warm environment and wheelchair accessibility.
2. Increase capacity to accept and distribute more fresh food donations. Perishable donations are often the most nutritious items—ones that allow customers to choose beyond canned goods with typically high sodium content. The new facility will offer expanded cold storage and preparation space which will allow us to accept more perishable and non-perishable donations.
3. Offer our neighbors greater access to resources that promote self-sufficiency in a dignified space. Asking for help is not always easy. That’s why it is so important our new location provides customers with a safe space to receive assistance and support from us or our partners, including LIHI, YouthCare, WithinReach and Solid Ground. Future plans also include a roof top garden, as well as cooking and nutrition classes.
Our new food bank facility will allow us to:
- Serve 33 percent more customers within two years.
- Accept 25 percent more perishable donations.
- Increase total pounds of food distributed by 40 percent.
- Increase food distributed per household by two pounds per week.
- Offer new on-site services with other key community partners.
- Achieve compliance with all ADA approved accessibility standards for the elderly and disabled.
UNIVERSITY COMMONS: THE FOOD BANK AND OUR PARTNERS
- Our new facility will be part of the larger University Commons development scheduled to be open in Summer 2015.
- University Commons is a collaborative development to provide our community with low-cost housing, life and job skills training spaces, and a permanent home for a newly envisioned University District Food Bank.
- LIHI, with their long history developing housing for low-income and at-risk populations, will oversee the construction process, then own and manage 45 units of youth-focused housing above the food bank.
- Combining the food bank with housing maximizes the potential of the available space, while simultaneously meeting multiple community needs.
- YouthCare will recruit and support residents and partner with us for job and life skills training programs.
- A café space will allow YouthCare to expand their successful barista training program as well as provide a safe and casual area for our customers to enjoy.