In mid-August, Solid Ground’s Food System Support held its annual Van Tour for the Seattle Food Committee (SFC). Food bank staff, volunteers, directors and Board members rode together in a 29-passenger van to visit and learn from other food-related programs in the Seattle area.
This year, 33 attendees joined the tour – more participants than fit in the van! So a few attendees drove their own vehicles through a jam-packed day full of touring and learning as we visited six sites across South Seattle and Eastside.
Attendees experienced Food Lifeline’s new “Shop the Dock” program at their main warehouse in South Park, enjoyed a meal and tour at FareStart’s headquarters, and learned about the farm partnership between Hopelink Kirkland Food Bank and Sound Sustainable Farms.
Food System Support also coordinated a “Mobile Food Bank Roundup” this year to give providers an opportunity to learn more about mobile food banking – an innovative and increasingly popular way to bring food banks to customers.
Van Tour could not happen without planning input from SFC members! The primary goal of this event is to create opportunities for food bank personnel to bring back lessons to their own operations from each site we visit. Via feedback surveys, all attendees reported they learned new ideas or best practices that they will take back to their respective food banks – so Food System Support is happy to call this year’s Van Tour a success!