Who We Are
A program of Global to Local, the Food Innovation Network (FIN) enhances the local food system, increases access to healthy foods, and supports local food businesses in the diverse communities of SeaTac/Tukwila and South King County. Global to Local is a SeaTac-based non-profit whose programs address the social determinants of health to advance health equity in local communities.
Read our 2020 Year in Review to see how we put our mission into action!
FIN uses a collective impact model to bring community perspective and organizational expertise together in collaboration. Our network includes organizations, educational institutions, local government, and community members. We’re governed by a Steering Committee made up of organizations and Community Food Advocates (see our Partners page).
Our work spans across the community food system, from farm to fork. We seek and create opportunities for community members to engage in the local food system, and to increase community ownership of that system.
FIN works to create an equitable community by bringing community members together. We are committed to empowering residents to take leadership roles in advancing our mission and to bring an authentic community voice to our work. This is primarily done through our cohort of Community Food Advocates, leaders who represent the diverse multi-cultural communities of South King County. Advocates are key to our strategic planning and choosing culturally appropriate techniques and activities to support policy and systems change. Paid through stipends, advocates are trained in leadership and advocacy skills and learn through hands-on experience. Encouraged to take on leadership roles within FIN, several have become co-chairs on working groups and participate in our Steering Committee. Advocates lead our community engagement and outreach efforts by connecting people to our services and resources.
Learn about our work and find your place at the table!
Food Business Incubator
One of our core work areas is a Food Business Incubator supporting aspiring entrepreneurs from SeaTac/Tukwila and broader South King County who primarily come from low-income immigrant and refugee communities. Through business coaching and a peer network, entrepreneurs are supported in obtaining permits, offered subsidized kitchen rent, and provided connections to market channels such as catering opportunities. We currently support 13 businesses, and in 2020 we opened Spice Bridge, our commercial kitchen and food hall.
New food businesses: Njambi Gishuru at firstname.lastname@example.org
Catering and marketing opportunities: Kerrie Carbary at email@example.com
Spice Bridge: Kara Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our goal is to address racial inequity in our food system by creating a farm-to-fork distribution channel and connecting people to food. FIN operates Tukwila Village Farmers Market with our partner, the IRC New Roots program. We sell fresh, local produce grown primarily by immigrants and refugees, and offer growers marketing and other business supports. The markets are open June through October, and we accept SNAP benefits and SNAP Market Match for payment.
Land access for agriculture in urban areas is critical for communities new to growing food in the Northwest. We facilitate the South King Urban Ag Network (SKUAN) to improve resource sharing and collaboration among partners and growers—please contact us if you would like to get involved.
Urban Agriculture opportunities: Njambi Gishuru at email@example.com
SKUAN: Kara Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org
Food connects people and builds community. In pandemic-free times, our community events include Community Kitchen Dinners to celebrate the rich food traditions of our community, and an annual Resource Fair.
During the pandemic, our community engagement efforts have focused on sharing information about food resources and COVID-19 safety. Our Community Food Advocates have reached out to a variety of cultural communities, including Latinx, Kurdish, Congolese, Somali, Karen, and Filipino South King County residents.
Sheelan Shamdeen at email@example.com
For full staff contact information, please visit our contact page.