Breaking Hunger Trap Shooting Tournament Targets Food Insecurity

Finding fun, fresh, innovative ways to combine people’s passions with their giving is tough in a landscape of golf tournaments and auctions. To accommodate the increase in demand for food at the 67 food banks, meal sites, and shelters that EFN serves, Board Member Darren Schuldheiss took aim at combining two of his passions: fighting hunger and shooting clay pigeons out of the air.

On September 7, 2012, the Gig Harbor Sportsman’s Club will host 100 shooters for the first annual “Breaking Hunger” Trap Shooting Tournament, one of the few fundraising events of its kind in the Northwest. In teams of five, each shooter will have the opportunity to break 50 clays. Participants pay an entry fee and are encouraged to find friends and family to pledge money to support their efforts.

When Schuldheiss  first came on the board, he was quoted as saying “The fact that more than 110,000 people each month seek emergency food assistance in Pierce County, and 53% are children and seniors–if that doesn’t motivate you to get involved, nothing will. I am humbled to have the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors of EFN and roll up my sleeves in the fight against hunger.”

He wasn’t kidding. Schuldheiss came up with the concept for this event and has been the driving force to make it happen. When presented with the opportunity to host the event, the Gig Harbor Sportsman’s Club jumped right in. “I have been amazed at the gracious reception that the Gig Harbor Sportsman’s club has exhibited since I first brought this idea to their board,” says Schuldheiss. “The club really cares about the community and has a rich history of that. Le Rodenberg the GHSC President has been a fantastic resource. Mr. Rodenberg’s wife Jeannie has been a long-time volunteer at the FISH Food Bank in Gig Harbor so the club has been a great partner to work with. Members have generously volunteered to be involved in a variety of ways to make this event a success.”

Anyone can shoot, says Schuldheiss. “Participants will range from some of the top shooters in the state to complete beginners. Prizes will be available for skill, but most importantly raising money for Emergency Food Network.”

Emergency Food Network’s mission is “to provide a reliable food supply so that no person in Pierce County goes hungry.” EFN distributes nutritious, staple food to 67 food banks, shelters, and hot meal sites in Pierce County. They do this through a combination of sources, including purchased food, food donated from grocery stores and food distributors, food received from food drives, fruits and vegetables gleaned from residential gardens and area farms, and food grown at EFN’s 8-acre organic Mother Earth Farm, which produced 160,000 pounds of fruits and veggies in 2011, distributed to food banks on the day of harvest. Eighty percent of all food in the county makes its way through EFN’s 22,000 square-foot warehouse in Lakewood. EFN has an administrative overhead of less than 4%. In a down economy, more families and individuals turn to emergency food programs to get by from week to week and month to month. EFN is the primary distributer of emergency food in the county, distributing $12 worth of food for every $1 donated. With the demand at food programs increasing 46% since 2008, EFN’s efficiency and reliability is more important than ever.

“The goal of Breaking Hunger,” says Schuldheiss, “is to have a safe, fun event that raises enough money to put $250,000 worth of food on Pierce County tables.” Information about the event and a registration form can be found at www.efoodnet.org.

For information about the Emergency Food Network, to donate, or to learn about volunteer opportunities, visit www.efoodnet.org.

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