“To provide dignity, care and compassion through action, with the example that each person can make a difference.
To educate and advocate acceptance and understanding of each other’s differences.
To ultimately bring about the realization that we are all a vital part of this world and with extended effort put an end to homelessness, hunger and hatred.”
OSL was born in 1989…
with the delivery of 30 Organic Sack Lunches to the streets of Seattle, by our Founder, Singer, Songwriter, Beverly Graham. Baptized OPERATION: Sack Lunch, we soon outgrew the registered identifier of our 501 (c) 3.
With more than 6 million no cost meals served, the rescue and procurement of more than 4 million pounds of quality meal ingredients, and the establishment of 7 additional satellite programs under the direction of what we call the “Mother-Ship”, we now simply refer to ourselves as OSL… and each day these letters remind us that we are always and ONLY Serving Love…
Thoughts From our E.D.
Over the years OSL has hired many individuals that at one time or another have struggled with hunger and shelter; some living directly on the street, in a tent city, or sleeping on a friends couch. Many years ago when I was a single mother of two, there were times that I was less than a paycheck away from losing my home…I struggled to pay the bills, and sometimes did not pay them, so that I could feed my kids…I was extremely fortunate that the skill I have as a musician/entertainer always kept me employed, whether I was singing in a bar or a church.
Recently we posted a lovely article written by Marta Baskin about OSL for Crossfire. In the article it was stated that OSL Lead Morning Chef Nicole had at one time been homeless however, like me, when I was a young single mother, although she struggled, Nicole was fortunate to have a skill that kept her employed, and in fact she never lacked for shelter for herself and her daughters.
OSL has worked diligently in the past 26 years to eliminate the stigma of homelessness. The perception that someone who lives without shelter is not a contributing member of the community is false and insulting. Although there are those who live unhoused struggling with addiction or are unwilling/unable to work, however, in today’s difficult economy this is neither the prevailing commons nor the norm. Today OSL serves returning veterans who have no employment options, and those from past military engagements, college graduates, families living in vehicles working minimum wage jobs, elder adults unable to afford food on the meager Social Security allowance they are paid, health challenged individuals who lost their employment due to disability, foster children, unemployed welders, artists, musicians, chefs, teachers, technicians, single mom’s, children… The only shame in homelessness is the cruel discrimination, judgement, and lack of compassion exhibited by those who have no understanding of the pain of poverty.
OSL will continue to employ individuals from our client base as well as from the greater community, offering employment opportunities that advance skills and market place value, with an ethic to pay an equitable wage. Our staff will continue to practice radical compassion, providing care and kindness, and we will continue to be a voice of education and love. We will also continue to support an equitable food, shelter, and wage system, for everyone, and we will continue to be a strong advocate that seeks to not only diminish the stigma of living unsheltered, but indeed, eradicates it. –beverly graham-
We are committed to Only Serving Love to those in need.
Food Insecurity affects 1 in 7 individuals in our State. Food inequity affects people of color, women, children, the elderly, chronically ill, economically challenged, homeless, people with disabilities, indigenous, substance abusers, people with mental challenges and dementia, and those who live in isolated rural settings.
Throughout Washington State there are areas known as Food Deserts. A food desert has no food resources, such as a grocery store, restaurant, food bank, meal program, or convenience store, but has a population needing nutritional support. These populations are usually no or low income; elder adults, families living in cars, homeless veterans, children, women, and men.
OSL plans to purchase an 18 foot step side van that is fully equipped as a Mobile Kitchen. The cost of this vehicle is $140,000. We are currently actively pursing funding sources to make this purchase. Contributions to this effort are greatly appreciated. The Mobile Kitchen will allow us to deliver meals directly in food deserts throughout the greater Seattle area. A food desert has no access to life sustaining food, yet has a population in need of sustenance. We project that with this vehicle we will serve 20,000 unduplicated individuals struggling with hunger in our community. This vehicle will also serve as an educational lab for populations challenged with hunger, providing Next Step training on nutritional meal preparation, using foods from donated sources.