Founded in 2007, Common Threads helps kids across Whatcom County learn to make food choices that are good for their bodies, their communities, and the environment. Through gardening, cooking, and eating, we create joyful opportunities for kids to practice teamwork, learn about the natural world, and take risks and try new things in a safe and supportive environment.
Originally, Common Threads was envisioned as a farm-based learning center. By 2009, it was clear that in order to have the most positive impact on the most kids, we needed to go to where the kids are. To date, the majority of our gardening, cooking, and eating programs have taken place on public school grounds, during the school day, in collaboration with classroom teachers and food service staff. Schools are a great place to connect kids with healthy food because kids from all walks of life are there every day.
In addition to our school-based programming, Common Threads continues to run spring break and summer programs, which moved to Western Washington University’s Outback Farm in 2015.
In 2017, Common Threads identified an opportunity to better meet the nutritional and recreational needs of our community’s most vulnerable youth through after-school supper clubs and summer breakfast and lunch clubs which take place in low-income apartment complexes and community centers.
In 2018, Common Threads launched the first state-wide AmeriCorps team in collaboration with like-minded non-profits. In 2019, we helped over 7000 children fall in love with healthy food.
In March 2020, the Coronavirus pandemic closed schools for the rest of the year. Common Threads’ adapted to community needs by supporting emergency food distribution, school garden food production and maintenance, online cooking classes, microgreens kits, and the farm to freezer initiative. 2021 is Common Threads’ 15th year of programming.