Breaking Hunger Targets Food Insecurity

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Trap shooting, archery, food, and fun. Emergency Food Network’s Breaking Hunger Trap Shooting and Archery Tournament is one of the few fundraising events of its kind in the Northwest.

On August 11, 2017, the Gig Harbor Sportsman’s Club will host teams of shooters for this 5th annual event. Shooters at the event will take aim and fight hunger, and will be given the opportunity to break 50 clay pigeons as well as participate in an archery contest. A delicious barbecue is included in the festivities. Participant are encouraged to find friends and family to pledge money to support their efforts.

Individuals of all skill levels are encouraged to participate. Participants will range from some of the top shooters in the state to complete beginners. Awards will be given for skill, but most importantly for raising funds to help provide food for families and individuals in need throughout Pierce County.

Interstate Distributors Co. is the Presenting Sponsor of Breaking Hunger. Other sponsors include Zack Rosenbloom & Associates, Brown & Brown Insurance, and UFCW Local 367.

All funds raised at the event go toward fulfilling Emergency Food Network’s mission “to provide Pierce County with a consistent, diverse, and nutritious food supply so that no person goes hungry.” EFN provides 14.8 million pounds of food annually to 68 food pantries, shelters, and meal sites in Pierce County. EFN is the primary distributor of emergency food in the county, distributing $12 worth of food for every $1 donated.

There are still available spots to participate at Breaking Hunger! For more information, to register for the event, or make a donation, visit the Breaking Hunger website (https://efoodnet.donorpages.com/BreakingHunger2017).

Hunger Walk & 5K Run will help provide dairy to families in need.

Does a stroll through in the park sound like a great way to spend your Saturday morning? How about a run on the trails? At the Hunger Walk & 5K Run you can enjoy either of these and help your neighbors in need at the same time.

On May 20, Emergency Food Network is hosting the Hunger Walk & 5K Run at Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood. Participants in this 37th annual event will walk around Waughop Lake or run through the trees in a chip-timed 5K. Family-friendly activities and live music are also provided at the start/finish line.

“The community’s involvement in this event will have a profound impact on our neighbors who need our help,” said Helen McGovern-Pilant, Executive Director at Emergency Food Network.

Throughout the year, EFN distributes a variety of food that is donated by farmers, the government, and community members. However, to ensure there is a reliable source of staple foods available for food pantries, Emergency Food Network also purchases, by the semi-truckload, six staple items including rice, beans, oats, canned fruit, canned vegetables, and a frozen protein.

The funding from the Hunger Walk & 5K Run will help Emergency Food Network add dairy to list of items regularly purchased, fulfilling the need for more dairy in the emergency food system.

The Hunger Walk & 5K Run was previously hosted by Associated Ministries. At the beginning of this year, they passed the leadership of the event on to Emergency Food Network, however, Associated Ministries is still very involved in the event.

Emergency Food Network has seen a great amount of support from local businesses for the Hunger Walk & 5K Run. Event sponsors include Tucci & Sons, Waste Connections, Commencement Bank, Coordinated Care, Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala, Whole Foods Chambers Bay, and Zack Rosenbloom & Associates.

For more information or to register for the Hunger Walk & 5K Run visit www.efoodnet.org.

Hunger Awareness Month is May 2017

Emergency Food Network brings awareness to hunger in Pierce County with opportunities for community members to get involved in local hunger relief.

May 2017 is officially Hunger Awareness Month. This first-time proclamation in Pierce County is designed to inspire community members to take action and raise awareness about the need in Pierce County. More than 1.3 million visits are made to food pantries, meal sites, and shelters by residents in Pierce County each year. 54% of these visits are children and seniors.

“May is the perfect time to bring attention to hunger as food pantries and meal sites are gearing up for one of the busiest times of the year,” said Helen McGovern-Pilant, Executive Director of Emergency Food Network.

There are approximately 60,000 children in the Pierce County school system who receive free or reduced breakfast and/or lunch. When schools are out for the summer break these students will no longer receive the one or two meals provided each day at school. Many of these children and their families will rely on food from food pantries or meal sites to help supplement their nutritional intake during the summer months.

“There are many ways to make a difference in the month of May,” said McGovern-Pilant. “We’ve made it easy for community members to join us in providing the increased food that will be needed when families in need make extra trips to the food pantry.”

Pierce County residents are encouraged to get involved in the month of May by choosing at least one or more activities to help their neighbors in need. Hunger Awareness Month activities include leaving a donation of food out by your mailbox during the Letter Carriers’ Food Drive, walking or running at the Hunger Walk & 5K Run,  volunteering at Emergency Food Network’s warehouse or Mother Earth Farm, and more. See a complete list of Hunger Awareness Month events and volunteer opportunities.

The largest Hunger Awareness Month event is the Hunger Walk & 5K Run on May 20 at Fort Steilacoom Park. Opportunities to walk around the lake, run through the trees in the chip-timed 5K, or volunteer at the event are all available. Visit the Hunger Walk & 5K Run website for more information or to register.

Local Individuals, Businesses, Organizations Honored for Helping Neighbors in Need

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On Wednesday, April 12, Emergency Food Network hosted their annual Recognition Breakfast at the STAR Center in Lakewood to recognize important partners in Pierce County’s effort to reduce hunger and food insecurity.

The David P. Ottey Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Shelley Rotondo. Rotondo has dedicated 27 years of her life to reducing hunger in Washington State. She is currently the CEO of Northwest Harvest and has lead the agency since 2001. Emergency Food Network and Northwest Harvest are long-time partners. They often work together, leveraging their buying power, by purchasing food in large quantities. They share ideas and work together providing food to neighbors in need throughout the Puget Sound region and all of Washington State.

Emergency Food Network also honored this year’s recipients of the 2017 Silver Spoon Awards, recognizing individuals, businesses, and organizations who have made a substantial impact on ending food insecurity in our region. By helping Emergency Food Network with its mission “to provide Pierce County with a consistent, diverse, and nutritious food supply so that no person goes hungry,” recipients of this award model a commitment to giving their time and resources to meet a critical need. This year’s winners are:

TrueBlue – Corporate Partner of the Year
Employee’s Community Fund of Boeing – Foundation Partner
RAM Restaurant & Brewery – Mother Earth Farm Support, Corporate
Madeleine Spencer – Mother Earth Farm Support, Individual
My Sister’s Pantry – John Schultz Partner Food Program
Optimist Club of Tacoma – Volunteer Service, Group
Gary Fontaine – Volunteer Service, Individual
Fircrest United Methodist Church – Substantial Collection Effort
Bates Technical College – Food System Support

This year’s Recognition Breakfast was made possible by the support of generous sponsors committed to helping Emergency Food Network provide food to the community. Sponsors of the Recognition Breakfast include: Interstate Distributor Co., Waste Connections, CHI Franciscan Health, Chuckals Office Products, Columbia Bank, DaVita, Gordon Thomas Honeywell, HomeStreet Bank, IBEW Local 483, Johnson Family Properties, MultiCare Health System, Northwest Harvest, Pierce College, Sharon Snuffin, Taylor-Thomason Insurance, Teamsters Local 117, TrueBlue, UFCW Local 367, and Zack Rosenbloom and Associates.

During the event, EFN also announced that May 2017 is Hunger Awareness Month. Pierce County residents are encouraged to get involved in the month of May by choosing at least one or more activities to make a difference in their community. Hunger Awareness Month events and volunteer opportunities can be found by visiting EFN’s website www.efoodnet.org. The largest Hunger Awareness Month event is the Hunger Walk & 5K Run on May 20 at Fort Steilacoom Park. Opportunities to walk around the lake, run through the trees in the chip-timed 5K, or volunteer at the event are all available. Visit the Hunger Walk & 5K Run website for more information or to register, https://efoodnet.donorpages.com/HungerWalk2017.

EFN Announces New Director of Operations

Emergency Food Network announced today that Paul Stabbert is the organization’s new Director of Operations.

Stabbert brings 21 years of leadership experience with him to the position. He most recently served as the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner at EZXpeditors Incorporated, an air cargo delivery firm.

In addition to his leadership experience, Stabbert is passionate about giving back to his community. Before starting at Emergency Food Network, he regularly worked as a Para Educator in the Steilacoom School District. He also serves as a Public Address Announcer for high school athletics, and has had the opportunity to announce at state championship events, college football and basketball games, charity games, and even fill in as announcer at Cheney Stadium for the Tacoma Rainiers.

His desire to make a difference in the community along with his extensive management experience makes Stabbert a great addition to helping Emergency Food Network fulfill their mission “to provide Pierce County with a consistent, diverse, and nutritious food supply so that no person goes hungry.”

Being a part of the local community is important to Stabbert. “I had a blast working in the for-profit world, however, it is refreshing, exciting, and very fulfilling to now be a part of helping the community in the non-profit sector.”

Under the leadership of Emergency Food Network’s Executive Director, Helen McGovern-Pilant, Stabbert will oversee the organization’s warehouse and distribution.

“We are happy to have Paul Stabbert join the Emergency Food Network team,” said McGovern-Pilant. “He brings a wealth of experience and passion to EFN that will help our organization supply more healthy, nutritious food to our neighbors in need.”