This year, our annual Fall Festival is raising money for the local nonprofit, Green Plate Special, and we’re so excited to tell you all about the meaningful work they do!
Green Plate Special is located in the Rainier Valley in South Seattle. Founded in 2011 by Laura Dewall, the nonprofit’s objective has been to get youth from all socioeconomic backgrounds to experience food in new ways through gardening, cooking, and eating together.
Green Plate Special gives youth hands-on opportunities to grow and prepare healthy and delicious food, from seed-to-table. They engage middle-school students (4th-8th grades) through after-school and in-school programs, spring and summer camps, field trips, and cooking classes. Subjects such as math, science, and history are interwoven with lessons on growing and cooking and kids often get to take home vegetables from the garden and leftovers of what they cooked to share with their families.
By virtue of a pay-what-you-can tuition-assistance plan, Green Plate Special programs are accessible to all. Most of the youth they serve rarely get an up-close and personal experience with gardening, growing and cooking fresh-grown foods. Not only do youth get to connect to food in new ways, but the garden is full of a variety of vegetables, which are later incorporated in culturally-diverse meals that are prepared and eaten together.
The 100-foot view of these programs highlights food-focused growing and cooking programs, school partnerships, and Green Plate Special’s bountiful garden, but the more you get to know the nonprofit, the more you see a network of meaningful connections to a community of youth and their families. Their focus is on depth over breadth, so working repeatedly with youth over the years to make a strong and lasting impact on their lives. That said, their programs are constantly expanding. Green Plate Special currently serves about 600 youth and growing!
We’ve been continually impressed to hear about lessons that go beyond how-tos in the garden. For example, youth get to appreciate their place in a process that involves many. Youth of the past planted seeds for a harvest that youth of the present can enjoy, and youth of the present are planting for the youth of the future.
All of the proceeds from this year’s Fall Festival will go to support Green Plate Special. We’re so happy to join forces with the Ballard Kiwanis, who will be selling hot dogs, popcorn, and beverages, and are donating their proceeds to Green Plate Special as well. Last year, Swansons’ Fall Festival raised $7,000 for Green Plate Special. We can’t wait to raise more than ever this year, but we need your help to make it happen!
If we can raise $7,000-$10,000 this year, Green Plate Special will be able to:
Pay for the entire Washington Middle School program scholarship for the whole academic year - or -
Provide scholarships to 20 young people for a full week of camp with 3 meals per day and leftovers to take home - or -
Cover the cost of their entire summer youth internship program!
Join us for Fall Festival to support Green Plate Special on Saturday, October 12th and Sunday, October 13th, each day from 10am-3pm. You’ll get to race your own veggie car, go on a tractor hay ride, climb through our spider web obstacle course, and so much more. The whole family will make great memories for a good cause!