Request for Proposal: Food Waste Awareness Art Project

Overview: The Thurston County Food Bank (TCFB) is seeking an artist/educator or artist/educator team as part of a Food Waste Reduction Awareness Project. The project is a partnership between the TCFB, the Washington State Department of Ecology, the North Thurston School District, the City of Lacey, and the Lacey Chamber of Commerce.

Project Description:

The project is a collaborative effort to divert perishable edible food from the waste stream to hunger relief agencies and ultimately low and moderate income households. The project leverages the strong relationship the Thurston County Food Bank has with North Thurston Public Schools and the strong community support of local hunger relief agencies to create greater community awareness and to build a sustainable food recovery system and model.

Project goal: The goal of this project is to engage students and community members in a multi-faceted, collaborative, hands-on arts experience focused on wasted food and its environmental, economic, and social impacts. During the course of the project, participants will create art that will be incorporated into a public art installation that reinforces key food waste reduction messages and inspires people to take action in their own lives.

Environmental Issue – According to Thurston County’s 2014 Waste Characterization Study, food is the single largest item in the county’s trash by weight, representing more than 17% of all discards. And more than 40% of this wasted food, or about 12,500 tons was edible before it was thrown away. Preventing wasted food will protect the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and by conserving the large amounts of water and other resources used to produce, transport, package, distribute, and throw away the food we don’t eat.

Public Involvement: The Project will involve the public with an emphasis on targeting low and moderate income households.

The Thurston County Food Bank (TCFB) has a 45-year history of serving this population and its mission “to end hunger in our community” resonates both with the public and business sector. Internal marketing to the 15,000 households that use the TCFB’s services provides a unique opportunity to consistently message food waste reduction strategies to motivated community members.

The project will build on existing relationships with the North Thurston Public Schools to engage youth, to amplify the media efforts and catalyze direct enhancement on preventing wasted food via an educational/interactive art project to be installed at the Lacey Food Bank. The effort will augmented by external marketing videos, newsletters, web presence and social media to raise general community awareness leveraging local media donations, public television and other traditional media. Throughout our marketing strategies, close attention will be paid to appealing to and engaging the community’s diverse population.

Waste Priorities: This project is focused on the top two tiers of the Food Waste Management Hierarchy – food waste prevention and feeding people. All of the messaging will emphasize the benefits to our environment, our economy, and to our community of this approach. And our data shows that food donation leads to wasted food prevention, especially in the commercial sector. When a food-related business begins donating food, they quickly become aware of how much and what types of food they are throwing away and take action to reduce that amount.

Key deliverables: These include, but are not limited to the following:

  • At least three project design workshops with an outcome of a completed project design.
  • At least forty educational presentations and art workshops in local K-12 schools with an outcome of a completed art project. These sessions should be designed to meet Next Generation Science Standards. The art project should be durable and able to withstand the elements. Optionally some sessions can be conducted off site with same target population.
  • One project reception/art installation event at the Lacey Food Bank, 7027 Martin Way, Lacey, WA.

There is no pre-determined schedule for the presentations and workshops, but most of them will occur during the school day, on a regular basis. The schedule will be collaboratively developed with the selected contractor, teachers, and the school administration. In addition, some sessions may be held outside of the school schedule in an effort to engage the larger community in the project.

Participants in the presentations and workshops will collectively create art that will be incorporated into a work of public art that will be installed at the Lacey Food Bank.

Project budget: The total project budget is $28,000 to $38,000. It was developed upon the desire/assumption for approximately 200 hours of planning and preparation; 200 hours of instruction; 50 hours of community engagement activities; and 150 hours for project completion, installation and event coordination. Planning assumptions include average wages of $42.73 an hour. The budget should include all supply, material, event, and installation costs. Sufficient budget detail should be included to inform the selection process.

Desired qualifications:

  • Have extensive experience working on similar projects in local K-12 schools, and with diverse community members, children and parents.
  • Possess knowledge of Next Generation Science Standards and solid waste, food waste, and related environmental issues.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with North Thurston Public Schools, Lacey area businesses, and the emergency food system within Thurston County.

How to apply: To be considered, applicants should provide the following:

  • Contractor name, address, email, and phone number.
  • An overview of their experience working on similar projects and a description of the approach they propose to take to the project that addresses the desired qualifications and the project goal (no more than 2 pages).
  • A total project budget that includes all fees including an hourly rate for each staff person, material costs, event and installation costs, and any other project-related expenses.
  • A resume for each staff person who will be working on the project.
  • At least two professional references.

Proposals must be received by 4 pm on Tuesday, November 21. They should be sent or delivered to:


  • November 21 2017: Application Deadline
  • November 21 – December 1, 2017: Selection process –
  • Week of December 4, 2017: Notification of Selected Artist/Educator
  • December – June 30 2018: Completion of 80% of work
  • July – October, 2018: Completion of project
  • October 2018: Evening Art Night/Open House/Artwork Exhibit


For more information or questions, please contact: