On Wednesday, May 2 in Philip Hall on the University of Washington-Tacoma campus, Emergency Food Network will host a community breakfast to mark 30 years of service in the community and to recognize important partners in Pierce County’s effort to fight food insecurity.
EFN will honor this year’s recipients of the Silver Spoon Award, The David P. Ottey Lifetime Achievement Award, and announce those companies and organizations that met the criteria in 2011 to be Corporate or Civic Partners. Past Executive Directors Jeannie Darnielle, Dennis Flannigan and David Ottey will be in attendance, along with past and present board members, representatives from supportive family foundations and local businesses, as well as individuals who have made a difference over the past 30 years.
Carrie Little will receive the David P. Ottey Lifetime Achievement Award for her service to EFN. Ms. Little managed Mother Earth farm for more than 10 years, transforming an 8-acre plot of over-farmed land in Puyallup into a bountiful organic farm that distributes 150,000 pounds of produce annually to area food banks, fresh on the day the food is harvested. She also helped establish a partnership with the Washington Corrections Center for Women to allow women from the prison in Purdy to work four days each week to help plant, tend, and harvest crops while receiving college credit for their work. The David P. Ottey Lifetime Achievement Award is named for EFN’s long-serving former Executive Director. Mr. Ottey will be on-hand to present the award.
EFN’s Silver Spoon Award recognizes individuals and organizations who have made a substantial impact on ending food insecurity in our region. By helping with EFN with its mission “to provide a reliable food supply so that no person in Pierce County goes hungry,” recipients of this award model a commitment to giving their time and resources to meet a critical need. This year’s winners and their categories are:
Contribution to Mother Earth Farm, EFN’s 8-acre organic farm in Orting:
United Natural Foods, Inc. consistently sends their “Green Team” to volunteer at the farm. On Fridays and Saturdays, Mother Earth Farm can accommodate individuals or groups of volunteers. Corporate or civic groups set up regular visits to help with our farm operations. UNFI not only provides regular volunteers, but they also helped to sponsor EFN’s annual auction.
Partner Feeding Program:
Key Peninsula Lutheran Church is a more recent partner in EFN’s network of 67 food banks, meal sites, and shelters providing service to an area of the county with a fast-growing need. In 2011, they distributed 275,565 lbs of food. KPLC provided 376 backpacks through their backpack program. That means that every week during the school year, 376 children receiving free or reduced-priced school meals in rural Pierce County did not have to worry about where they would find appropriate, nutritious food during weekends. Backpack programs are unique partnerships between food banks and schools that recognize that childhood hunger does not end when school is out.
The Gary E. Milgard Family Foundation provided EFN with key funding in 2010 and 2011 to help meet the increased demand for emergency food. Since 2008, demand for emergency food has increase 46%, with 1,285,903 total visits in Pierce County in 2011. Foundations and individual donors are the lifeblood of the emergency food system in our community.
Substantial Collection Effort:
American Fast Freight and Totem Ocean Trailer Express together collected 16,237 lbs of food during a food drive competition. They also raised $2,608.26 for EFN. Food drives are one of the valuable sources of emergency food for Pierce County residents. Donation drives have a substantial impact as EFN is able to purchase food in bulk and by the truckload for prices much lower than retail.
Rotary Club of Tacoma No. 8 regularly attends Repacks at EFN on the third Saturday of each month. Groups of volunteers gather at EFN on Tuesday through Saturday to repackage bulk goods and frozen produce into family-sized portions before shipping off to area food programs. Rotary 8 has Repacked over 100,000 pounds of food in the past year, using the time to bond, have a cookout, and make a tremendous difference for the emergency food system.
Food System Support:
Marsh Allen, a community volunteer, recognized a way to assist our Repack Project, a program through which volunteers sort bulk dried goods and frozen produce in to family-sized portions. Mr. Allen’s machine allows four volunteers at a time to manually divide loads of produce or grains and bag without placing significant physical strain on the volunteer. The invention can be used by older volunteers or volunteers with accessibility issues. Mr. Allen designed the contraption and raised the funds to build it.
In addition to these award recipients, EFN also announced companies and organizations that qualified as Corporate or Civic Partners in 2011. Corporate/Civic Partners have a special tie to EFN. They engage in efforts to fight hunger and receive distinction for their work each year for their efforts.
2012 Corporate and Civic Partners include:
Bank of America, Boeing Company, Business Examiner, Chuckals, DaVita, Franciscan Health System, Gordon Thomas Honeywell, KeyBank, LaborWorks, Lakewood Police Department, LeMay Pierce County Refuse, MultiCare Health System, Murray Pacific Corporation, Pacific Lutheran University, Roman Meal Company, Rotary Club District 5020, Schnitzer, Stadium Thriftway, Tacoma Pierce County Association of Realtors, Tucci & Sons
These partners will be recognized on Wednesday for meeting three of the following six criteria in 2011:
Contributing $1,000 or more to EFN.
- Hosting a food or donation drive in the workplace.
- Featuring EFN or placing a link to www.efoodnet.org on your company website
- Having an employee serve on EFN’s board or on a committee.
- Purchasing a table at the Abundance Auction.
- Bringing groups to volunteer with our Repack Project or Mother Earth Farm during the year.
Schnitzer will also receive the very first Corporate/Civic Partner Award for their support for EFN in 2011, hosting a food drive, a fund drive, volunteering in EFN’s warehouse, and sponsoring EFN’s annual auction.
Each month in Pierce County local food banks and hot meal sites see an average of 110,000 visits made by children, seniors and adults. In 2011 EFN distributed 13.1 million pounds of food worth $16.5 million at no cost through its warehouse operation. EFN is able to leverage their purchased and donated food to distribute $12 worth of food for every $1 donated.
To learn more about EFN, volunteering, or to obtain a food drive information packet, visit www.efoodnet.org or call (253) 584-1040.