Of course, we are always looking for volunteers to help at the Free Grocery Store on Mondays anytime between the hours of 3pm and 9pm. Come when you can and stay as long as you want.
Our Gleaning Project operates throughout the week. We need people to volunteer to take on certain pick-ups/deliveries. Some of our food goes directly to the area’s homeless camps. We need folks that will sort the food and box it back it up. There are a variety of ways that one can help. If interested, please fill out this form.
Lastly, our Community Garden has opportunities to serve year round and on your own schedule. Once a volunteer is given the introductory tour and shown the tasks that need to be completed, they can then decide when they are available to do the tasks. We do have planned work parties throughout the growing season however, there are many ongoing tasks that would be ideal for a monthly or weekly commitment. If interested in this volunteer opportunity please email firstname.lastname@example.org
To anyone that has visited our garden, you know how beautiful and peaceful this piece of land is. Celebration Church has been so gracious to allow us to grow food here for 8 years! If you are a new gardener or a seasoned green thumb we would love to have you join us in our growing journey.
We offer a Seed Lending Library, hand tools, wheelbarrows, rototiller, a small green house, unlimited free burlap sacks and wood chips to aid in your adventure of gardening with us. If you are a new gardener there are a lot of opportunities to learn about gardening and best practices. If you are a seasoned gardener we would love your input and will utilize your skill base to help others.
Please email email@example.com if you are interested in gardening with us.
It has come to our attention that one of the volunteers who worked at one of our recent Free Grocery Store events has tested positive for Covid-19. This particular volunteer did not come into direct contact with any of our patrons and while on site they used the recommended COVID safety measures.
Although there has been minimal patron or volunteer potential exposure, we are opting to address this issue with serious concern.
To this end, we will not be conducting Monday’s Free Grocery Store on November 16th. We will take this time to review and further strengthen the necessary steps to assure everyone’s health and safety in continued accordance with the recommended guidelines put forth by the CDC, state, and local government authorities.
It is our goal to resume our Free Grocery Store events on Monday November 23rd.
Here is an abbreviated list of local resources for free food this coming week:
As October came and went, we realized that Sustainable Renton turned 10 years old! We are so busy with the Free Grocery Store, we barely had time to notice. However, this slide show gives a small look into some of the people and events that have been instrumental in making our mission become a reality.
Sustainable Renton had it’s first Board meeting in October of 2010 at a coffee shop located in the Landing. As one of the members that were present at the first meeting, I have witnessed firsthand the years of effort that our dedicated volunteers have put forth towards making Sustainable Renton’s vision come to fruition.
Our first project was Sustainable Renton Community Farm, followed closely by Sustainable Renton Farm Stand. We have much gratitude to Celebration Church for allowing our farm to be on their precious land. This place is truly a paradise. Please come to visit, walk around, or grab a shovel and get to work!!
We have supplied food for the Salvation Army, The Center of Hope, Renton Senior Activity Center, local restaurants and countless homes and families with the food grown on this land. We have held many workshops that illustrate how to live a more sustainable life such as food preservation, draught resistant gardening, pallet shed building, seed sowing, seed saving, garden planning, herbal medicine, etc.
Our advocates have been indispensable. You know who you are. Thank you. Thank you for believing in our grassroots efforts and helping us when we needed it most.
Our volunteers are really the ones that deserve the accolades for their service. People who know that everyone deserves the dignity of having food to feed their family. That food insecurity is a social justice issue and that food is for sharing. We can and indeed must help those that need help with helping themselves.
Thank you all for an amazing first decade. Let’s keep moving into an even brighter future of service and the building of a community that is thriving and resilient.
Sustainable Renton, now in partnership with St. Mathews Lutheran Church in the Renton Highlands has been operating a Free drive-thru Grocery Store every Monday night at 5:30pm. This happens with volunteers picking up good, gleaned groceries from local area stores. As COVID continues, so do the rules of distribution, keeping us outside during the cold months ahead.
This is a call for local organizations/ businesses, to sponsor and/or operate a warming tent, serving coffee, tea, cocoa, etc. for the volunteers working the store and the patrons attending. We are looking for donations of warm drinks, propane heaters, and/or volunteers. As we do this every Monday evening, this creates opportunities for different sponsors every week. Tent, tables, and chairs will be provided.
We started 30 weeks ago successfully handing out 1500-3000 pounds of food per week, serving as many as 300 families, as of 10-27-20 we handed over 25,000 pounds of food, serving approximately 700 to 900 families. The data shows approximately 92% in 98056 zip code with the balance in 98057 and 98058 areas. Even though we are a Renton based organization, we turn no one away. All this has been accomplished with only volunteers, starting with 17 volunteers we now utilize 50+ volunteers to meet the demand every week.
Please email sustainablerenton@gmail if interested in helping out this winter. Your organization can sign up for a one-time help or a monthly schedule, whatever works for you or your organization.
Sustainable Renton has been operating our Free Grocery Store for almost a year. We successfully move between 2 and 3 thousand pounds of food every week serving 100’s of families in and around Renton.
Starting Monday July 6th our store will be operating from St Matthew’s Lutheran Church at 1700 Edmonds Ave NE Renton, WA 98056. This event will continue to serve drive through patrons. No documentation required. Everyone welcome.
Sustainable Renton’s Free Grocery Store has made a few changes to meet the needs of our community during this strange and difficult time of greater need.
First, due to health reasons, we’ve had to change our location. We were offered a space in the parking lot located directly in front of Brewmaster’s Taproom at 2000 Benson Rd S Renton, WA 98055.
Second, we opted to change the means of picking up the groceries. The layout of the parking lot makes it easy to accomodate a drive-through version of our grocery store. We are unable to service walk-up patrons at this time; however, we are looking into how we may accommodate walk-ups in the near future.
The April 27th store will be our 5th drive-through store, with each week showing a huge need in our community.
We typically offer bread, pastries, produce, deli items, and dry goods, but as all food items are gleaned or donated, weekly selection will vary.
We have successfully handed out 1500-3000 pounds of food per week, serving as many as 300 families.
Our volunteers are vetted each week via protective measures, such as taking their temperature and filling out a pertinent health-related questionnaire. We require our volunteers to wear gloves and masks at all times, being careful to sanitize between each transaction.
Finally, we are unable to take any cash donations at this event. If anyone is interested or able to donate we encourage them to go to our website and donate via our PayPal button. If any businesses or individuals are interested in donating food or interested in volunteering for this event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
As most of you know, we have been unable to hold the Sustainable Renton Free Grocery Store at our previous location this month due to the current COVID-19 situation. This decision was made with a heavy heart, but was necessary in order to comply with current health department guidelines and to do our part to discourage large groups in an attempt to flatten the infection curve of the virus.
I am happy to report that we have been able to secure a location for an outdoor, remain-in-vehicle Free Grocery Store!
Starting Monday March 30th, Sustainable Renton will restart our Monday evening stores at our new venue, The Brewmaster’s Taproom parking lot, at 2000 Benson Road South. Hours will be from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.
As you can imagine this will be a little different than our previous stores. Customers will enter the parking lot via the South Puget Drive entrance to enter the line, then be directed through the parking lot until they arrive at a row of tables which will be stocked with produce and dry goods. Volunteers will fill bags with what the customer requests and hand them through the vehicle window. The customer will then leave through the Benson Road South exit of the parking lot.
Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer non-food items at the drive through Free Grocery Store and will have to limit the amount of food that each customer is able to receive. This will vary based on the number of persons they are shopping for and the amount of food available at each store. These changes are necessary both for space constraints and in order to ensure that the items we have are shared as equitably and among as many customers as possible.
All volunteers will be wearing gloves and DIY face masks for the protection of all and will be following current guidelines for social distancing and hygiene.
Another change is that we will NOT be accepting any monetary or other donations during store hours. People wishing to make monetary donations are encouraged to visit our website Sustainable Renton and donate via the PayPal button. Those wishing to make donations of food will need to email email@example.com to set a pick-up outside of store hours.
Thank you for your time and interest and we hope to see you there!
We share at family picnics, the dinner table, church festivals, and at countless other gatherings. We share food with our family, our friends, and sometimes this sharing helps us in resolving differences. It’s a powerful tool for building community, forging relationships, and taking care of one another and ourselves. In short, folks have been breaking bread together for centuries.
In our region of abundance we have so much food we are literally throwing it away. Food waste is a leading cause of greenhouse emissions as it slowly decomposes in landfills producing methane and other gasses. This happens while people are hungry, families struggle to pay for groceries, and local community meal programs and food banks are overtaxed.
With our most recent project, Sustainable Renton is gleaning food from local sources – farmers markets, grocery stores, foraged foods, and individual gardeners donations, and bringing it to our Free Grocery Store, at 915 S. 3rd St. in the downtown Renton corridor. This space has been made available by a local resident who is passionate about community driven humanitarian efforts in Renton and is invested in helping our most vulnerable populations.
There is no shortage of food that can be saved and there is a need for more outlets for this food. Obviously, some food needs to be composted as it is not fit for consumption even for livestock, but before it gets to that point it has days to weeks to sometimes months of time to get into the hands of folks that could benefit from it.
In the past four years, prior to Sustainable Renton making the Gleaning Project an “official” project in June of this year, a small group of dedicated individuals (many already associated with other Sustainable Renton projects) have been collecting “waste” food and other usable materials. These gleaned and foraged items were then diligently, through an established email chain and phone tree system, distributed to families in need and to the tent cities and tiny-home villages around the region.
The newly-utilized space on South 3rd Street allows a spot for cooled storage, which aids in lengthier preservation, and can act as a hub where folks can come and get their food rather than having multiple meeting points scattered around Renton. This will reduce the environmental and monetary costs of transportation of the gleaned items to their end users. Deliveries will still be maintained to the nearby tent cities and tiny-home villages, as it has been before now, and efforts will be made to include previous patrons who may be unable to get to the new location.
The gleaned items are free and always will be! We will have a donation jar on site for those folks that are able to pitch in for the associated costs of the program, with any overages going to support other Sustainable Renton projects. Donations or payment will never be asked for or required, but will always be appreciated!
This project is growing quickly! Please see the link on our web page for current dates and times for our Free Grocery Store. Spread the word to those that might benefit, sign up to volunteer to help out at the Free Grocery Store, or if you have a truck or other appropriate vehicle and the extra time, sign up for food retrieval. If you are interested in volunteering please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get you busy.
See you at the store!
Written by Lara Randolph and Scott Kreidermacher on behalf of Sustainable Renton.