Bloodworks Northwest is partnering with chefs, restaurant and food brand owners, wineries, breweries and culinary gourmands from Washington and Oregon to educate and inspire thousands in our region to donate blood.
Although these two industries have been hit hard during the pandemic, they hope that by adapting, showing resilience and forming this alliance, the culinary industry will rally together around the table to make an impact and save lives.
Now, and through the end of June, Bloodworks Northwest will host “Savor Life. Save A Life.” a community initiative with the goal of recruiting 10,000 new and re-engaged blood donors to support patients at local hospitals who rely on blood transfusions for cancer treatment, surgeries, and bleeding disorders.
The nation’s blood supply remains at one of its lowest levels in recent years, and Bloodworks Northwest says the Pacific Northwest is experiencing dangerously low levels – hovering at less than one day’s supply of certain critical blood types. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, blood donations have been down 35 percent due to a host of pandemic-influenced factors.
In an effort to stabilize the blood supply, Bloodworks Northwest is teaming up with the culinary industry to educate, share and raise awareness around the importance and impact of blood donation.
“Since the pandemic started, maintaining our community’s blood supply has faced numerous challenges,” said Curt Bailey, president and CEO of Bloodworks Northwest. “Blood is essential medicine and blood donors are critical to public health. We are grateful to have the culinary community come together in partnership – using their voices to elevate the urgent need for blood donation by educating and inspiring. Food and blood are community lifelines, and we invite everyone in this space to join us.”
The initial culinary campaign coalition includes partners such as:
– Jason Wilson, The Lakehouse Bellevue
– Holly Smith, Café Juanita
– Ethan Stowell, Ethan Stowell Restaurants
– Preeti Agarwal, Meesha and Kricket Club
– Laura Clise, Intentionalist
– Amy and Jeri Andrews, XOBC Cellars
– Ben and Megan Campbell, Ben’s Bread pop ups
– Sharelle Klaus, DRY Botanical Bubbly
– Tamara Murphy, Terra Plata
– Thierry Rautureau – The Chef in the Hat
– Angela Shen, DOMO Collective and Savor Seattle Food Tours
– Pike Place Market
– Seattle Restaurant Week
– Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Markets
– Woodinville Wine Country
– Three Magnets Brewing Co. and Lucky Envelope Brewing
– Uber Eats
“There’s nothing that brings us all together more than food,” said James Beard award-winning chef Jason Wilson who owns The Lakehouse in Bellevue and the modern speakeasy inspired Civility & Unrest, the previous Miller’s Guild in downtown Seattle, and the former critically acclaimed Crush. “Around the table, we find ways to share our emotions and connect with our friends, family and peers. Just as we’ve missed these times together since the beginning of the pandemic, we are also missing another important lifeline in our community: blood.”
Wilson has a keen appreciation of the need for blood donation. He was born with a small hole in his heart. Years later, when he opened his first restaurant, he was told he needed to address it. As a result, when he went in for surgery, there had to be four units of blood on hand in the operating room.
“I think we’d all be surprised how our friends and families have been affected by blood donation,” Wilson added. “Or when we all might need it.”
The “Savor Life. Save A Life.” campaign will launch on Thursday, March 3, during a gathering of participating chefs, culinary leaders and Bloodworks representatives at The Lakehouse Bellevue. During the event, Bailey, Wilson and other campaign spokespeople will share their stories and desire to bring our community together through blood donation.
Only 38 percent of the population is eligible to donate blood, due to health and age requirements and other key factors; and only 10% of eligible donors give blood. Due to this small pool of donors, Bloodworks Northwest and the culinary community are urging those who can, to donate blood regularly.
In Washington and Oregon, 1,000 donors per day are needed to keep the blood supply at a safe and reliable level. And every two seconds, someone in our region needs blood.
The “Savor Life. Save A Life.” campaign will also include a monthly giveaway. Anyone who donates blood can enter to win one-of-a-kind culinary prizes, including the March prize of an exclusive dinner for 8 prepared by Chef Wilson, featuring appetizers and a custom menu design, a case of wine from Woodinville Wine Country, and a case of DRY Botanical Bubbly. Prior to dinner, Klaus will create some fun mocktails with DRY Botanical Bubbly from her book, A Guide to Zero-Proof Cocktails.
For more information about “Savor Life. Save A Life.” to download a campaign kit, or to learn about upcoming events, the giveaways and scheduling a blood donation, please visit www.bloodworksnw.org/savorlife.