Tag Archives: Mutual Aid

Community Fridge Tackles Local Food Insecurity

by Ronnie Estoque

For nearly 18 years, South Seattle resident Juli Cummings has dedicated her time as a volunteer at food banks across Seattle. She’s lived in the Columbia City neighborhood for two decades, and in the past year, she has organized a mutual aid community fridge outside her home for neighbors who are experiencing food insecurity. 

Continue reading Community Fridge Tackles Local Food Insecurity

OPINION | Hot Food and Dry Socks Are No Substitute for Housing

by Jesse Kennemer

On Thursday afternoons in my one-bedroom apartment, steam rises from the stock pot that towers over the electric-coil stove. It’s filled to the brim; every serving is accounted for. Just before 7:00 p.m. I wipe down the counter, fan out clear to-go containers like playing cards, and start ladling, lidding, and packing. Then the rest of the team arrives in ones and twos outside my patio gate and loads a foldable wagon. Hot food, of course, but also water, socks, T-shirts, underwear, hand warmers, cigarettes, lighters, Narcan, first-aid supplies, blankets. Then we head down Broadway to offer up the supplies to anyone who wants them. 

Continue reading OPINION | Hot Food and Dry Socks Are No Substitute for Housing

South End Guides | Mutual Aid Groups in Seattle

by Amanda Ong

Last Updated on June 22, 2023, 1:25 pm.

Need help with food, clothing, or other essentials, or want to give directly to our South End neighbors? South Seattle has a number of wonderful mutual aid groups that help sustain and support our communities. Mutual aid is a practice of direct community and resource sharing to help meet each other’s needs — typically without ties to nonprofits or other organizations. Instead of charity, mutual aid operates in solidarity, recognizing that our health and well-being are bound up in collective care. 

Sounds great, but how do you find these mutual aid groups? 

Continue reading South End Guides | Mutual Aid Groups in Seattle

The South End Guide to Winter Preparedness

by Victor Simoes

In 2021, Seattle saw its coldest day in 73 years, and this year, winter does not seem to be getting any easier. La Ninã, the leading global weather driver for the upcoming winter season for the third winter in a row, tends to bring cooler and wetter conditions to the season. With three of the last four years having record-breaking or record-tying snow events, this winter is set to continue the pattern, according to The Climate Prediction Center.

Continue reading The South End Guide to Winter Preparedness

Lara De La Rosa Is Reimagining Entrepreneurship at Lazy Cow Bakery

by Emma Lower

“I love to bake … but I didn’t open the business to be a baker,” says Lara de la Rosa, the 23-year-old head pastry chef at the vegan Lazy Cow Bakery in Fremont. 

Instead, de la Rosa is a theorist putting her vision of a worker-owned, woman- and Latinx-centered world into practice. Lazy Cow doubles as a mutual-aid organization and Latinx cultural center called La Casa del Xoloitzcuintle. Perhaps it’s the vegan raspberry almond croissant she has already offered me, or the red roses on her kitchen table, her anecdotal humor and light laugh, but she has the distinct aesthetic of being fully alive.

Continue reading Lara De La Rosa Is Reimagining Entrepreneurship at Lazy Cow Bakery

OPINION: Centering Compassion in Little Saigon

by Mimi To and Jasmine Tran

Hi, our names are Mimi and Jasmine. We are members of the ACRS Civic Engagement Youth Organizing Team. ACRS (Asian Counseling and Referral Service) is a nonprofit founded in Seattle that offers community-based multilingual and multicultural services to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. We are both Vietnamese American women who care deeply for our community and work to serve its goals.

Continue reading OPINION: Centering Compassion in Little Saigon

Lunar New Year and ChuMinh Tofu’s Radical Compassion

by Amanda Ong

On Feb. 6, along 12th Avenue and Jackson Street in Little Saigon, ChuMinh Tofu Vegan Deli hosted a Lunar New Year meal for guests lined down the block. The special menu included rice, vegan BBQ pork, spicy tofu, stir-fried veggies, eggrolls, oranges, and $1,000 distributed to guests in red envelopes. Volunteers served the free food and passed out the envelopes along with warm clothes and supplies to their many guests — not customers per se, but people in need of a warm meal and who may struggle to afford one most days. 

Continue reading Lunar New Year and ChuMinh Tofu’s Radical Compassion

Love, Mutual Aid, and Humanity at ChuMinh Tofu

by Johnny Fikru and Johnny Mao

It is no accident that ChuMinh Tofu still stands tall in a spot that other businesses have long since vacated. 

To date, Thanh-Nga “Tanya” Nguyễn and her staff have held down the spot on South Jackson Street for 10 years. Tanya’s journey to ChuMinh has involved a myriad of pathways. Medical school in Vietnam, biochemistry, a mindfulness in Buddhism, a passion for tofu, and a culture of caring — all manifest into the language of love present at ChuMinh to this day: food and mutual aid.

“I met Tanya years ago — I would come to ChuMinh Tofu and buy meals for community meetings. In the era I was raised in, banh mi was part of the diet at community meetings,” said organizer Johnny Fikru. “As I walked inside trying to determine what I wanted to eat, I was struck by the warm presence of Tanya. Anyone that’s ever been lucky enough to feel that energy knows exactly what I’m talking about. It’s an inviting and warm presence. It’s authentic. It’s caring. It is peaceful. I was welcomed in a way that I haven’t felt at a restaurant, and it felt so great.” 

Continue reading Love, Mutual Aid, and Humanity at ChuMinh Tofu

Youth Groups Host Mutual Aid Event for Rainier Beach

by Chamidae Ford

On the cusp of their one-year anniversary, the Emerald Youth Organizing Collective (EYOC) has become one of the foremost youth collectives in the area, having recently endorsed Nikkita Oliver for Seattle City Council.

EYOC began to take shape during Kirsten Harris-Talley’s campaign last summer. The founder, Andrew Hong, was working as a field organizer and went on to start the campaign’s youth team. 

“After Kirsten won the election, we thought we had a good structure and continued interest so we rebranded to Emerald Youth Organizing Collective a few months later,” Hong said. “We continued doing work mostly in the state Legislature but we also did some community work too, and now we’re rapidly expanding the projects we do.” 

Continue reading Youth Groups Host Mutual Aid Event for Rainier Beach

OPINION: Seattle Activists’ Continued Fight for Mutual Aid, True Equity, and Defunding SPD

by Luna Reyna

One-quarter of the entire 2020 Seattle city budget was allocated to the Seattle Police Department (SPD). While last summer’s protests over anti-Black police violence and calls to defund the police resulted in an 18% decrease in the 2021 SPD budget, $364 million was still allocated to SPD. This is an affront to community-led organizations like King County Equity Now (KCEN) and so many others who have been providing much-needed community support and succeeding in creating real public safety

KCEN, which started as an informal coalition of over 60 Black-led community organizations like Africatown Community Landtrust, Community Passageways, and Blaq Elephant Party, is now a formal, pro-Black 501(c)(4) dedicated to achieving equity for all Black peoples across all measurable metrics, including, wealth, health, land ownership, safety, college matriculation rates, organizational control, and more. 

In the ’70s, the Central District’s population was 75% Black, but as a result of Seattle’s tech boom and resulting gentrification, the CD is now only 15% Black. 

“My family was gentrified from the Central District in 2003,” said TraeAnna Holiday, an organizer with KCEN. “I remember wondering why my family couldn’t stay in our neighborhood. This was our neighborhood; I knew it in and out.” 

Continue reading OPINION: Seattle Activists’ Continued Fight for Mutual Aid, True Equity, and Defunding SPD