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 Karilynn Cooper, our Community Connector

Where did you grow up?

Born and raised in Sacramento, CA. 

What is your background? 

For my educational background I earned a BA in social work from Cal State Sacramento. Professionally I spent 7-8 years doing various social work or case management roles at a variety of organizations. I worked with AmeriCorps in Spokane and that brought me to Seattle in 2015. I’ve worked with people living with HIV, people with substance disorders and severe mental illness. 

When did you start at University District Food Bank?

Late September of 2021. My title is Community Connector officially, but I also go by Community Engagement and Resource Specialist.  My role can also be referred to as a social worker. I help our shoppers obtain various resources including housing, SNAP benefits and more.

What is your role within the organization?

I prioritize client work and spend at least 50 percent of my time with clients of the Food Bank, but it varies day to day based on what our clients need. I operate a walk-in program to make it easier for customers to have access to my services vs. making appointments. This helps to meet people where they are at and not feel constrained or that they will miss an appointment. I will also offer appointments if that’s easier for another client.

Shoppers find me by word of mouth typically I also have cards and flyers around the Food Bank to inform someone who might be new. Customers often come in to shop and ask if we have someone who can help them with accessing services. 

Some needs are quick and simple, and others require a lot of help. I will meet with them as many times as it takes to get them the access to the resources they need. If their needs go above my abilities, I will recommend them to other local services.

What is the most fulfilling aspect of your work?

I love the relational part of the job, not so much the paperwork! I have a lot of regular customers that I’ve bonded with over the last year. Some will come in just to touch base about their life – share their triumphs or setbacks. I love that they are comfortable to come to me and share this info. 

I encourage people to come back and share updates and keep in touch, I love those moments with them. It’s a difficult job for sure and those are the parts that keep me sane and keep me going.

The most difficult part of this position is seeing the many setbacks within the systems in place and the hoops that customers must jump through. As a society we’re not prepared to care for people who are chronically homeless. This has required me to change my outlook in order to move forward and be present with clients. It’s taught me to celebrate the small wins. 

I’ve seen a lot of small wins over the last year and positive changes in people. And it’s important for our customers to have someone who holds on to those wins for them, someone who notices how hard they are working and acknowledges that. 

What would you like our donors and volunteers to know about the Food Bank?

I want to extend gratitude to the volunteers and staff. They have such strong relationships with our clients that it makes it easier for customers to trust me because they know we all have their best interest in mind. Thank you to everyone who makes this community go around. 

Meet Dave, our Beloved Food Bank Greeter!

When did you start at the Food Bank?

I started in January 2020 as a checkout person inside the Food Bank. Covid-19 hit Seattle shortly after that and we shifted operations outside. I was asked to be a greeter and chat with shoppers while they waited. It was getting to be spring, and I loved being outside with people.

Tell us about being a greeter at the Food Bank?

The people here is the best part. I know the community well now – after two years of seeing the same people our regulars become my friends. I’ve gained about 2000-3000 friends working here! When people don’t come one week, I miss them. 

I love speaking to them while they wait and keeping them company. Sometimes it’s standing in the rain for hours. I often like to walk around and sing and one of our customers says she comes just to hear me sing. 

I’ve always been a customer service-oriented person and simply enjoy talking to people. Previously I owned a construction company where I would rebuild houses for bed and breakfasts in Tacoma and Auburn. I moved to Seattle in 2011 after meeting my wife through an accidental text and phone call where we just started talking.

What do you enjoy about the Food Bank staff?

The directors have a gift when it comes to hiring and the staff fits so well together, it’s like a family.  I often am told how much I’m missed when I’m not there. The staff is so close because everyone has a common goal of making sure people’s needs are met. A lot of our shoppers are homeless and struggling, they are vulnerable and need someone to talk to. Everyone here understands that.

Every part of our team must work together because we’re dealing with so many parts that are interconnected. From food purchasing and donations to getting the food here, to the sorters who check for quality, to stalking our shelves. From there we have volunteers who shop for people and they need to be picky and not just throw things together you want the person receiving the food to enjoy it and to feed their family with pride. 

This is where volunteers come in; without them this full range of operations would not happen at the level it does. They are so appreciated. 

What else do you want people to know?

I feel like it’s my calling, to make people feel loved. Everyone has to eat, and we are here to help people from all walks of life. Our team knows how to meet people where they are without judgement, it’s been amazing to be a part of. 

Our older customers have so many stories. They talk with me and want to share and be heard, their stories are so rich. I feel honored to be a part of it.

We’re Working Towards at Healthier Planet

We love Earth Day at the Food Bank and we’re excited to share more about what we’re doing to be kinder to our planet!

Reducing Food Waste – our Food Bank helps save perfectly good food from all over the area from going to waste through our grocery rescue programs (thanks to Peddling Relief Project for using bike power to help rescue 1000 lbs of food every week!). Grocery stores often can’t sell imperfect looking foods and we’ll gladly take those wonderful fresh fruits and veggies. We also save food like stale bread for local pig farmers. 

Electric Delivery Vans – we converted one of our gas delivery vans to 100% electric and are working on converting the second one in 2023. Big thank you to EV Works on Bainbridge Island for converting the van from gas to electric!

Rooftop Garden – growing our own fruits and veggies on the Food Bank’s rooftop provides a nearly zero-footprint supply of fresh food for our shoppers during spring, summer and fall.

Honey Bees – the honey bees we keep will allow us to harvest 50 lbs of honey this year that we can give to shoppers. They also pollinate our garden and help it thrive. How sweet!

Biodigester Composter – we’re thrilled to launch our biodigester composter this year. It will allow us to compost our own scraps on site, will generate enough energy to run our electric delivery vans off of, and will save us money by no longer paying to compost with the city.

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!