On Tuesday, May 9, Lyn Harwell stepped down as executive director of Seeds Community Café (109 E. Pikes Peak Ave., seedscommunitycafe.org). He will be replaced by Jennifer Bostick, Seeds' interim executive director since December 2016.
"It's been five years of 60, 70, 80, 90 hours a week keeping things going," says Harwell. "I've founded this [organization], the vision is pretty clear, great people are running it, and I've got other things I'd like to do."
He started Seeds in September 2013, intending to provide healthy meals under a pay-what-you-can policy, accepting volunteer shifts as fair pay. According to a press release sent out on May 3, they've served over 60,000 meals so far, of which 40 percent went to volunteers. They've also paired with Colorado Springs Food Rescue to reduce food waste.
For the regulars, diners and volunteers alike, Bostick is already a familiar face at Seeds. She started volunteering when it opened, while also completing a culinary school internship.
"I fell in love with the concept and everything [Harwell] stood for," says Bostick. "I've been working with him ever since." She acted as head chef until 2015, at which point she reduced her role in order to pursue other endeavors. Among other things, Bostick hopes to formalize and develop a culinary arts training program through Seeds. Ideally, the program would pipeline participants into internships and, from there, into full-time work. She also hopes to add cooking classes outside of the training program, teaching people to better prepare healthy foods in their own homes.
"We'd... like to formalize our programs so we can expand them and let more people in the community participate," she says.
Harwell will be working on projects in Manitou, including a city-wide composting effort and a new venture in the Manitou Art Center called CrEATe. Check Side Dish for details soon.