SEATTLE — At one of Redmond’s newest restaurants, a group is gathering to not just share a meal, but also a conversation.
"At the Root Out Hunger dinners people come together to talk about the issues hungry people face and we talk about solutions," Said Thomas Reynolds, CEO of Northwest Harvest. "The Root Out Hunger series was put together by Edouardo Jordan and I, for the very purpose of creating a space for people to come together. Elected officials, philanthropist, activist, food bank operators and people who lived the experience of hunger, to sit at the same table to talk about issues that matter to all of us. And that is how to eliminate hunger in Washington State."
Tonight's dinner is being served by chef and restaurateur, Taylor Hoang who not only prepared the meal but also puts a face on how important access to food can be for everyone.
"My mother was working three jobs, as a seamstress, childcare person and as well as a janitor and so we didn't always have a lot of food in the pantry we didn't have a lot of food on the table and working three jobs we depended on the food bank many times," Hoang recalls. "People always assume that folks who go to food banks are people who are in dire need or homeless or in poverty. But my family was an example of a working-class family that also needed the support of the food bank."
Reynolds adds, "One in 8 Washingtonians experience food insecurity at some point throughout the year. It means they're hungry or they're at risk of being hungry. And we work with 375 food banks in every county around Washington State to make sure people that are hungry have a place to go to get free food."
"The dinners are deeply meaningful because it's a chance to connect on a deeper level. To talk about the issues, to share about the struggles and challenges and to identify potentially exciting new opportunities to take our society forward to make it more equal."
No one expects to solve our food issues overnight. But Northwest Harvest hopes gathering like these could serve up some solutions.
"I think the Root Out Hunger dinner series is an opportunity for first dozens, and then hundreds, and then thousands and tens of thousands of people to come together with a shared desire to see poverty and hunger eradicated in Washington State."
You can help those in need this Saturday at KING 5's 18th annual, Home Team Harvest.
We'll be collecting food and money for Northwest Harvest with the goal of raising enough for 6 million meals! You can drop off your non-perishable food or cash donation at a number of spots around Puget Sound. You can find more info on location drop off points here.