Summer Solstice Dinner at the Food Bank Rooftop!

Thank you to all who supported the University District Food Bank and attended our beautiful Summer Solstice dinner in June! This event was an auction item from our 2021 Take A Bite Out of Hunger auction to support our Rooftop Roots program and enjoy dinner and drinks in the Food Bank’s rooftop garden.

Thank you to Cameron Catering for the providing a delicious summer menu and to Skip Tognetti of Letterpress Distilling for crafting a signature cocktail called “Paper Plane” with Letterpress Amaro, 2BAR Spirts Bourbon, Aperol, and lemon juice. Letterpress and 2BAR are also auction donors and we thank them for their ongoing support! 

Additionally, Sommelier Lee Spires provided wine for the evening including Miraval Rose, Rotation Chardonnay, Sparkman Sauvignon Blanc, and Chateau Grand Village Bordeaux.

Solstice Dinner Menu by Cameron Catering

Passed Appetizers: 

  • Endive Spear filled with Goat Cheese Mousse and Balsamic Strawberry Relish 
  • Pepita-Crusted Chicken Skewer 
  • Bing Cherry, Jalapeño and Lime Pico de Gallo
  • Polenta Cakes Topped with Romesco and a Smoky Grilled Prawn  

Buffet Dinner: 

  • Garlic-Roasted Chicken Topped with Spring Pea Pesto and Crispy Pancetta  
  • Seasonal Quinoa Vegetable Cakes – roasted vegetable and quinoa cakes served with basil aioli 
  • Spring Salad of Garden Greens and Rainbow Chard with Cherry Belle Radish, Snap Peas, Buttermilk and Garlic Chive Dressing 
  • Bull’s Blood Raw Beet Salad with University District Food Bank Spring Herbs, Toasted Almonds, and Sesame
  • Rolls and Butter  

Family Style Desserts:   

  • Chef’s Selection of Petite Desserts 
  • Miniature Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp 
  • Flourless Chocolate Cake
  • Lemoncello Madeleine

Meet Lena our Food Access Program Coordinator

Lena Kabeshita is one of the Food Bank’s three new team members who came to us through our partnership with AmeriCorps. She joined us in October 2021 to manage our two satellite pantries at North Seattle College and Mercy Magnuson and is such an important part of the work we do for the north Seattle community!

Originally from Illinois, Lena was living and interning in Yakima before coming to Seattle. She is a recent college graduate with a major in soil and crop science and a minor in women and gender studies. 

What is your role at the Food Bank?

I am the Pantry Program Coordinator and I manage our two offsite pantries – North Seattle College on Tuesday nights and Mercy Magnuson place on Wednesday afternoons. I’m responsible for ordering food for the pantries, bringing the food over to each pantry and making sure they are running smoothly. I also coordinate 8-12 volunteers per week to help run the pantries.

Why were these satellite pantries created?

The satellite pantries pre-date the pandemic and were created to serve areas of need in North Seattle where there’s not a food bank nearby or affordable grocery stores. The North Seattle College Pantry was intended to support food insecure students at the college, but it has expanded beyond the student community and grown overall to fill a need among additional North Seattle households. In January 2022 we served 50 student households, 9 staff households, and 98 community member households. 

We purchase food specifically for these pantries each week, then set up and break down on Tuesdays and Wednesdays but each runs a little differently. North Seattle College offers prepacked food in bags and then shoppers choose their protein with a drive-through and walk-up service style. Magnuson is more of a shopping model where guests walk through and choose what they want for the week.

How many families do you serve per week? 

In January at Magnuson we served 320 households for the month and in North Seattle we served 229 households for the month. I want to give a big shout out to the volunteers who dedicate time each week to support these pantries. Their work is invaluable, and I couldn’t operate without them!

One of our regular volunteers at our Magnuson pantry passed away in February. His name was John Tuttle and he had been volunteering at Magnuson for the last year. I want to thank him for all his hard work and dedication to our cause, he will be missed by all of us.

Help Us Grow the Food Bank Community in 2022!

We couldn’t serve the families of Northeast Seattle without the support of the University District Food Bank’s amazing volunteers and donors! We have so many incredible people donating money, volunteering their time to help at the Food Bank, organizing community drives and helping to plan events like our Fall auction and more.
Even with all of this help every year we have people who move away, donate to a different cause or just get busy and no longer have the time to spend with us. To keep our community strong we’re asking you to join us in 2022 and help us grow!
Here’s few easy ways to help:

  1. Sign up for our e-newsletters at and share our next one with three friends, encouraging them to sign up as well and stay connected
  2. Text three people and ask them to join you in volunteering or donating any monetary amount they can this year
  3. Post on Instagram and Facebook about getting involved, donating or attending one of our upcoming events

All of this helps to spread the word and grow our reach in the community so we may continue to operate and help more families!

Holiday Giving – A Huge Thank You to All!

The community really stepped up this holiday season to support the Food Bank! We are feeling so very grateful for all that was done and we want to thank these groups and businesses for their incredible donations of both money and food. 

  • Montlake Turkey Trot – $26,500 donation
  • Fuel Coffee and Ada’s Technical Books – $3,122 donation through their Community Cup fund
  • Broadmoor Community – $34,724 donation 
  • Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Foundation and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati law firm. – $12,500 donation. Has been donating to us since 2017 
  • University Business Center – $8,911 donation
  • Sand Point Community Drive – $13,575 through 78 donations
  • Verathon Medical Equipment – $2,500 donation and 1700lbs of food

There is still time to make a donation to the Food Bank that counts towards our 2021/2022 operating budget! Any amount is appreciated. Thank you for supporting our mission!