Shelter Meals

FareStart was founded on the concept of providing dignified, nutritious meals to those in need.  In 1992, David Lee, a chef and entrepreneur, founded FareStart (then called Common Meals), whose mission was to serve meals to homeless shelters and the disadvantaged populations in Seattle.

Since then, FareStart has served more than two million shelter meals to members of our community.  Today, under the supervision of our skilled team of Chef Instructors, FareStart students produce a hot, nutritious, well-balanced meal for fifteen area shelters 365 days a year.  In 2009, FareStart provided more than 262,780 meals to homeless men and women.

As one of our businesses, shelter meals provide our students with excellent hands-on training while also serving as a revenue source for FareStart, all while providing critical meals to those in need.   All of the revenue generated though our contract meals, as with all of our businesses, goes directly back into the program to support our job training and placement efforts. 

Want more information?  Have questions?  Let us know!  Contact our Contract Customer Service at or 206-267-7619.


Food Recovery Program

FareStart operates a “Food Recovery Program” designed to provide food to shelters throughout Seattle.  How does this work?  Food with a short shelf life, such as produce, is donated to FareStart by local markets, suppliers, and food service operators.  FareStart then creates hot, nutritious meals for homeless men and women at 8 shelters throughout the city.