During the first few months of the pandemic in 2020, FEEST launched a free grocery delivery program to feed families in the Seattle and South King County communities. The program was highly successful, with over 800 deliveries made with the help of 200 volunteers. One year later, we want to take the time to recognize some of those volunteers and learn more about them and why they’re doing this work. This spotlight focuses on Joe Hauser!

Joe is an environmental engineer who also serves on the Burien Planning Commission. He and his wife have been living in the area for 7 years now and moved to Burien 3 years ago.

Joe first heard of FEEST from another volunteer, Jesse C, while visiting the now-closed Red-Eye Espresso. He and his wife were looking for a way to help Burien and South King County communities—especially kids—and FEEST seemed like the perfect fit! On what motivated them to volunteer, he said “making a difference in the community where I live was a big deal.”

Image is of Joe H. and Leigh Thomas over Zoom!

Reflecting on his time volunteering for FEEST, Joe spoke about how much he enjoyed the autonomy and freedom he was given while doing grocery deliveries. Because of that, he would often be sure to get some extra treats for families with kids such as Peeps, which his aunt recommended.

Another important aspect for Joe was how tangible the impact felt. Speaking of some of his past experiences volunteering, he said, “a lot of times… either you don’t feel like your time is used well or don’t really see the impact of your volunteering. In this case, with FEEST Seattle, we get to see both.”

Joe also reflected on how quickly FEEST was able to develop and implement a service delivery program despite being primarily focused on organizing and advocacy up until that point. He shared our sentiments when he said that “direct service is great in the short term, but in the long term, I recognize the need to shift policy and [I] respect that mission.” We feel the same, Joe!

A huge thank-you to Joe and all of our amazing volunteers who helped us make the free grocery delivery program a success during a time of great uncertainty.

To read our spotlight on fellow volunteer Randy Winn, click here!