Meet Molly Deal our Home Delivery Coordinator

Meet Molly Deal! She runs our Home Delivery program and is a vital part of the Food Bank team, making sure our most vulnerable and immobile shoppers get nutritious food delivered to them each week.

Your hometown: Seattle! I grew up around three miles away from the food bank.
First concert: Vance Joy
Coffee or Tea: Coffee, I only drink iced americanos.
Favorite Pizza Topping/s: Mushrooms and spicy sausage
Favorite Place to take out-of-towners in Seattle: Gasworks or Whidbey

What is your background?
I graduated from University of Washington in 2022 where I studied Economics, Math, and Diversity. After living in Seattle my whole life, I knew that I wanted to work somewhere where I can help support the community that raised me. I am also the child of two social workers, who taught me the importance of advocating for people’s rights and doing all you can to make sure people’s needs are met.

When did you start at University District Food Bank?
I started in the fall of 2022 as an Americorp volunteer. In June of 2023 I was hired on as regular staff.

What is your role within the organization?
I coordinate our Home Delivery program. Every week we deliver groceries to around 250 households that cannot come to the foodbank because they are elderly, disabled, or otherwise homebound. We have teams of volunteers on Wednesdays and Saturdays that pack personalized grocery bags based on customer’s dietary restrictions and preferences. Then, we have volunteer drivers drop off groceries to people’s doorstep. We also partner with the Pedaling Relief Project, which assigns volunteer bikers to deliver groceries to about 50 households in the area.

What is the most fulfilling aspect of your work?
There is SUCH a diverse array of people in the food bank space; from my coworkers to volunteers to customers. I find it so fulfilling talking to everyone. You really learn about the full range of human experience. The food bank also definitely functions as an informal community center; I love seeing relationships form between people who would have never met otherwise.

What would you like our donors and volunteers to know about the Food Bank?
Right now, there are around 100 people on the waitlist for our Home Delivery program. Some of our elderly and disabled neighbors have been waiting to be a part of this program for well over a year. In order to move people off the waitlist, we need more regular delivery drivers, either on Wednesdays or Saturdays. We also need more food in order to accommodate the growing program!

To be a volunteer delivery driver sign up online here and our volunteer coordinator will contact you. 

Auction Tickets on Sale Now! Join us October 7!

Auction tickets are on sale now for our annual“Take a Bite Out of Hunger” benefit auction on Saturday, October 7! Come celebrate 40 years of the University District Food Bank.

Purchase tickets individually or get a group together and purchase a table for 8!

Individual ticket: $115
Table of 8: $920
Patron ticket: $175
Patron table of 8: $1,200

Note: general ticket price will increase from $115 to $135 per ticket and general table will increase from $920 to $1,000 on September 8. Patron ticket and table costs will not increase. Patron ticket purchasers will be entered into a raffle for a $300 dinner at a local restaurant and receive upgraded wine.

The Virtual Fund-A-Need and Silent Auctions open at noon on Saturday, October 1, and close at 3 p.m. on Monday, October 9

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 7, for Silent and Live auctions. All tickets include dinner by Cameron Catering and beverages.

Chef’s Selection of Passed Appetizers
Family-Style Dinner:
Radicchio and Little Gem Salad with Mission Figs, Toasted Pine Nuts, and Saba (Vegan/GF)
Herb Focaccia, Caramelized Garlic Butter
Braised Pork Shoulder with White Wine and Fennel, Drizzled with Fresh Basil Pesto (GF)
Stuffed Delicata Squash with Quinoa, Dried Fruits, and Toasted Hazelnuts. (Vegan/GF)
Roasted Broccolini and Lemon with Parmesan
Charred Broccolini and Thin Sliced Lemon with Chilies and Vegan Cheese. (Vegan/GF)
Riso Venere with Roasted Pears, Thyme, and Gorgonzola (Vegetarian/GF)

Meet Our Newest Team Members!

Please welcome four new team members to the University District Food Bank! We’re thrilled to have them on board! 

Christine Bagley: Development Coordinator (left)

  1. Your hometown: Seattle
  2. First concert: Janet Jackson at Key Arena
  3. Coffee or Tea: COFFEE
  4. Favorite Pizza Topping/s: pepperoni, onions and mushrooms
  5. Favorite Place to take out-of-towners in Seattle: Olympic Sculpture Park
  6. What are you most looking forward to in your new role at the Food Bank? I’m looking forward to spreading the word on the important work we do at UDFB to more members of the community and working with the auction committee to procure some exciting new items for our event. October 7th.  Save the date!

Chey Costello: Pantry Assistant (middle)

  1. Your hometown: Dallas, TX
  2. First concert: The Spice Girls at Starplex in 1998
  3. Coffee or Tea: Earl Grey with honey and soy milk, followed by several cups of coffee/soy lattes
  4. Favorite Pizza Topping/s: Mushrooms!!!
  5. Favorite Place to take out-of-towners in Seattle: Gas Works for a sunset picnic 🙂
  6. What are you most looking forward to in your new role at the Food Bank? Making new friends and participating in my community!

Kirsten Ourada: Pantry Assistant (right)

  1. Your hometown: Spokane
  2. First concert: Radiohead 
  3. Coffee or Tea: Coffee 
  4. Favorite Pizza Topping/s: jalapeno and pineapple 
  5. Favorite Place to take out-of-towners in Seattle: swimming by the arboretum, to the rooftop bar at the Graduate for the 360 degree mountain and city views (!) or to a show
  6. What are you most looking forward to in your new role at the Food Bank: getting to know the community of staff, volunteers and customers, and the sense of place that comes with that. 

Thomas Bernardi: Pantry Assistant (throwing up peace signs)

  1. Your hometown: Snohomish, WA
  2. First concert: Stevie Wonder
  3. Coffee or Tea: Coffee for sure
  4. Favorite Pizza Topping/s: Ricotta, Sautéed Arugula
  5. Favorite Place to take out-of-towners in Seattle: Volunteer Park
  6. What are you most looking forward to in your new role at the Food Bank? I am most looking forward to learning how to make the food bank an even better space where everyone involved feels welcome and connected to the community.

It’s Our 40th Birthday this May!

May officially marks the 40th year of the University District Food Bank!We’re so proud to have served the NE Seattle community for the last 40 years, providing nutritious food to our neighbors in need.

The evolution of our Food Bank is one that took hundreds of thousands of hours and thousands of hands – we think back on all of the staff, volunteers and shoppers that make this community what it is and are so proud of the work that has been done and continues to be done every day.

While we’re so proud of our history and what we’ve been able to accomplish, we also hope for a future where the services we provide are no longer needed and that everyone has equal access to nutritious food.

After 40 years and plenty of economic ups and downs we find ourselves in a moment where the need is stronger than ever and that our job is to continue to ensure that everyone who needs food receives it. 

In times like these our community always steps up to do and give what they can. If you feel compelled to honor us with a 40th birthday donation please know that it will go directly to our food purchasing budget so that we may continue to feed folks as food costs and demand rises. 

Thank you from all of us at the University District Food Bank past and present!

Meet our Farm Manager Shanelle Donaldson & the Bloom Project

Shanelle Donaldson is the rockstar manager behind the Food Bank’s rooftop garden program and has some incredible projects up her sleeve this spring! 

Shanelle started at the Food Bank in October 2020 taking over managing our rooftop garden where we grow seasonal fruits, vegetables, and herbs year-round to feed the community. With all that she does for us she’s also operated her own business, an urban farm called Percussion Farms, since 2016. It’s a backyard farm model where people donate space and she grows food in Seattle’s Central District, Beacon Hill and in Auburn. Food that’s grown is distributed to food banks and the local BIPOC community. 

In 2021 Shanelle partnered with the Doorway Project to found an urban farming job training program called the Bloom Project, dedicated to educating youth about how to grow food in an urban setting. Last year they had enough funding for one cohort and after receiving grant funding they will be able to offer two cohorts that will each run for 10 weeks in 2022 and in 2023!

The program is offered to 4-5 students per session ages 18-24 and focuses on black and indigenous youth, as well as those experiencing housing insecurity and living in youth care and transitional housing.  The students are paid $20 per hour for 10 hours of training per week and get to experience everything hands-on. They will spend 5 hours at the University District Food Bank and the other 5 hours at Doorway Project where they will work on building an urban garden and growing space. They will learn about food systems, how food is distributed, all about worms and composting from the folks at the Tilth Alliance, a beekeeper will teach them about bees and pollinators, and a local forager will take them foraging in the city

Additionally, art will play a big role in the curriculum offering a creative and healing experience. This includes painting beehives, writing poetry, making lip balm from flowers they grow, making vegetable dyes from veggies they grow, making seed paper, and building a mason beehive.  

After the 10 weeks they hope to place all students in urban agriculture jobs including at farmers markets, with beekeepers and at urban farms like Percussion. Shanelle hopes to open their eyes and minds into the world of urban agriculture which is filled with opportunities they may have never known about. 

Shanelle is also in the process of converting the Food Bank’s rooftop raised beds from milk crates to larger wood and metal beds that are deeper allowing for more growing options. We can’t wait for you to see it when it’s completed later this spring!