Nutritional excellence is a right we are born to. Not a privilege we earn.
OSL was born in 1989 with the delivery of 30 Organic Sack Lunches to the streets of Seattle. Baptized OPERATION: Sack Lunch, we soon outgrew the registered identifier of our 501 (c) 3. With more than 6.5 million no cost meals served, the rescue and redistribution of more than 5 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. From a small grassroots effort to becoming one of Seattle’s foremost leaders in nutritional quality for compromised populations, each day these letters remind us that we are always and ONLY Serving Love.
Operating on the premise that nutritional excellence is a right we are born to and not a privilege we earn, OSL continues to be a lifeline to nutritious meals for our most challenged and compromised citizens. OSL is unique in that it is critical to Seattle’s emergency meal system. Those we serve are often unable to access food in more conventional ways and our Outdoor Meal Site is the last line of defense for those in our community living directly on the streets. Our service is consistent in all ways. Serving three nutritionally dense meals a day, seven days a week, year round, to those struggling with hunger, we are always on time, our meals are always excellent, and our staff and volunteers are always respectful and caring. This consistency provides our guests with a way to ward off starvation, and partake in an excellent meal, and stability in an otherwise unstable world.
OSL operates a non bio-toxic kitchen and serves quality food prepared using local and organic ingredients whenever possible. Food that we purchase is sustainable, organically grown, harvested, and humanely butchered. It is our understanding that by providing the most healthful food possible, we will help eliminate, not only hunger, but health challenges as well. Since our inception we have been faithful to this part of our mission and have continued to educate ourselves, our staff and volunteers on food safety and nutrition. Our commitment to serving nutritionally dense food to those who struggle with hunger in our community, at one time considered radical, is now the standard to set the nutritional bar by. We specialize in dietary restrictions; diets for diabetics, gluten intolerant, auto immune deficiencies, vegetarians, and cardiovascular issues. Our staff has been trained in holistic and nutritionally sound practices and techniques.
Providing meals to shelters and other organizations has created significant collaborations. Our work is vital to many Seattle area human service providers and as a pivotal link in the emergency meal system, our myriad of collaborations allow us to be instrumental in the creation of an equitable emergency meal system. We accomplish a great amount of work on a lean-to-the-bone ethic, working diligently to be frugal and ethical in our fiscal management. Our Food In Motion Program (FIM) has successfully rescued and redistributed over 5 million pounds of quality meal ingredients that were previously slated for the waste stream. Through our 98 FIM food donor partners and our service to 32 meal recipient partners, OSL has become a linchpin in the Seattle emergency meal system.
A fundamental premise of our organization is that we are all on this journey together. Many of our staff members are hired from our client base, providing an equitable wage and generous benefits, designed to combat poverty level wages. We encourage positive life changes and forward motion. We empower, forgive and continue to be a force that is ONLY SERVING LOVE. We embrace service leadership and a team-based work environment. We understand that being human is not an easy assignment. Delivering nutritionally sound meals to food insecure populations is the physical indicator of our broader mission of providing dignity care and compassion to those in our community that need a little bit of extra help to navigate through life.
Our work since 1989 has been responsible for many of the forward thinking and progressive attitudes surrounding hunger, homelessness and nutrition. We have altered policy and protocols for city government and other organizations. Our tenacity and ability for respectful engagement has been the catalyst for institutional changes around food quality and access for food insecure populations, not only in Seattle but in other communities around the United States.
Our ultimate goal is that homelessness, hunger, poverty, and discrimination cease to exist, and that every person is able to find their own true worth and contribute positively to our world.