“We Grow Food and We Give It Away”
A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization
pounds of produce distributed
square feet of garden space
Food is Free Washington is a 501©(3) charitable organization
Our mission is to provide, and enhance equitable access to, healthy, locally produced food, at no cost, to those who need it, in the State of Washington.
How do we do it?
- We grow fresh produce on publicly and privately donated land and aim to distribute it immediately after it’s harvested
- We fund, build, maintain, harvest, and generally work to increase the presence and productivity of community gardens
- We share the produce that we grow and harvest with our community at weekly share events in local parks and at our food rescue sites.
- We collaborate with existing public and private gardening and farming programs, gleaning and food rescue programs, and food distribution programs
- We receive and distribute larger donations of both produce and non-perishable food, mostly from farmers.
- We use email, SMS, and social media to proactively notify the community when fresh food is available
Food Is Free Washington operates several named programs in support of these goals:
- Food Independence Gardens (FIGs)
- Tacoma Urban Farm
- Triple Earl Gardens
Food is Free Washington is also developing educational programs, such as our Food Preservation classes, to help reduce waste and make it easier for those in need to eat healthy, locally grown produce all year.
We are seeking support from individuals, businesses, and grant programs
As the number of operating Food Is Free Washington FIGs continues to grow, and our food rescue, gleaning, distribution and educational programs expand, we need additional support from individuals, businesses, and grant programs. Please consider undertaking a financial commitment to assist us in making sure our neighbors have the healthy food they need. We’re building a community that cares for everyone in it, and the need is always increasing.
Food Is Free Washington is Unique
Our methodology is unique – we build and operate community gardening programs, we conduct food rescue and distribution operations, and we operate a seasonal gleaning program. We also intend to organize chapters of Food Is Free Washington in coordination with individuals and groups across the state of Washington, so we can provide financial, logistical, construction, and technical and digital communications support. Food is Free Washington started in May 2015, as Food Is Free Tacoma, with the simple idea of building community through the giving and sharing of homegrown fruits & vegetables. Since our inception, we have built, planted, harvested, and continue to maintain 52 streetside gardens, 3 larger garden projects, We’ve “rescued” many thousands of pounds of food to share with the community, and grown and shared over 10,000 vegetable starts for free to the public. Since we started our first Food Independence Garden, our operating expenses have been met through small fundraising drives, individual donations, and subsidized personally by the volunteer director. Serving the community through Food is Free Washington is about more than distributing fresh produce and food to our neighbors in need — it is about building local connections that lead to stronger, healthier communities. When a community member approaches us about building a Food Independence Garden in their yard, they are sometimes uncertain about how the process will work and sometimes about gardening in general. Once they have their garden, they experience firsthand what community gardens really mean for the community.
One of our Garden Stewards shared this story
“Over the last couple of years, I have had a circular relationship with Food Is Free Washington. I donated plants and produce, picked up plants and produce. Right now cauliflower plants from your plant giveaway are a beautiful display of green leaves in my front yard. Eventually bunches of the greens and the cauliflower heads will return to feed people in our community. Its fun when I am asked,”What are those pretty green plants in your flower bed?” It creates conversation with neighbors, learning more about each other & our community. Sharing is Happiness!!!”