World Relief Seattle’s Teaching and Commercial Kitchen
Located adjacent to an urban farm in the middle of a food insecure area, this teaching and commercial kitchen will focus on serving South King County’s refugee-immigrant community. It will provide space for local small-scale food producers and entrepreneurs to process their foods and also provide classes to improve local knowledge of food safety and nutrition.
Funds support the construction of a teaching and commercial kitchen that will contribute to:
- Increased food access
- Improved local food processing infrastructure
- Increased food safety and nutrition education for refugee-immigrant communities in South King County (SKC).
A large portion of refugees living in south King county have agrarian backgrounds. However, much of this community lives in dense urban areas that lack access to land for cultivation and fresh produce that is reflective of their culture. Additionally, local refugee-immigrant food entrepreneurs voice a dire need for accessible space to incubate, grow and introduce their cuisine to the local community. This kitchen, adjacent to Paradise Parking Plots (a small-scale urban community farm for refugees and immigrants) will:
- Provide commercial-grade space for small-scale food producers to prepare their food for sale in local markets
- Expand educational access to SKC’s refugee-immigrant communities to learn about growing in urban environments, food safety (including opportunities for certification), and nutrition
- Support local refugee-immigrant food entrepreneurs in introducing their food to the community
- Introduce local food producers/entrepreneurs to a wider audience through food-based community events hosted at the kitchen
Mary joined KCD in late 2015 and currently serves as Senior Manager for the Regional Food System Program. Mary came to KCD from Cascade Harvest Coalition, a non-profit which she founded and directed since 1999. Mary brings more than three decades of passion, experience and expertise in natural resource management, agricultural economics, and food system development. Mary coordinates the KCD Regional Food System Program, including Strategic Initiatives and Food System Grants, with the goals of making an enduring contribution toward strengthening King County’s food economy. Mary’s education includes a BS in Political Economy of Natural Resources from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MS in Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics from Montana State University, Bozeman. Outside of work, Mary enjoys hiking the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her yellow lab, Libby, and photography.