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What’s in a Name? Northwest Harvest’s SODO Community Market

A message from Chief Executive Officer Thomas Reynolds

In late spring, Northwest Harvest’s SODO Community Market will open to the public—replacing Cherry Street Food Bank. This is a monumental change for Northwest Harvest, for the city of Seattle, and for everyone in the community who has come through our doors over the past 36 years looking for a safe, inviting place to pack up a cart, backpack, or shopping bag with fresh produce, grains, and proteins to take back and share with their families.

The name SODO Community Market emerged from a long list of potential monikers for our new site. Each of our stakeholders, including staff, partners, clients, volunteers, and neighbors were invited to offer input on what the new food bank name should be. We landed on Northwest Harvest’s SODO Community Market.

I think we all understand the power that words have when attached to names and places. Words help tell a story. They help build trust. They help individuals paint a descriptive picture. Above all, words help define intent and purpose. SODO Community Market.

SODO – Northwest Harvest’s new home will be a part of the SODO neighborhood of Seattle located near 4th Avenue South and Holgate Street. It’s along several bus lines, near the SODO light rail station—with striking gains in accessibility compared to its predecessor on First Hill.

Community – The new space is designed to bring people together. It will be a safe place to share, to find common ground, to support each other, and to pursue the goal of living in a more just and equitable society.

Market – The new location will become a gathering space for exchange and interaction. It will be a place to collect a variety of desired provisions such as healthy and nutritious food.

With the naming of our new site, we are intent on destigmatizing the experience of taking home a bag of nutritious groceries at no cost. We will be working hard to ensure that Northwest Harvest’s SODO Community Market lives up to the name we have given our new home.

I invite you to come see for yourself when we open. You will find a warm, welcoming, and brightly lit grocery store experience that is relentlessly focused on dignity for everyone who walks through the doors. This is the future of food banking: creating community together; offering a sharing marketplace; while doing away with outdated stigmatizing phrases like “feeding the needy” or “helping the hungry”.

Once our doors are open, we look forward to seeing you there.

Learn more about Northwest Harvest’s SODO Community Market.