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.”

EFN Announces New Deputy Director

Emergency Food Network is proud to announce that Michelle Douglas is their new Deputy Director. 

Douglas brings sixteen years of leadership experience with her to the position. She most recently served as Executive Director at the Rainbow Center in Tacoma and also served as Operations Manager at the Center for Dialogue and Resolution.

In addition to her leadership experience, Douglas also has an extensive background in the food industry, including catering, hospitality, and service. Her longtime desire to provide food for people and her commitment to making a difference in the community makes her a perfect addition to help Emergency Food Network fulfill their mission “to provide Pierce County with a consistent, diverse, and nutritious food supply so that no person goes hungry.”

“I have a deep passion for feeding people, a commitment to exploring ways of eradicating hunger, and a drive to engage communities and systems in the work of finding solutions,” said Douglas. “Emergency Food Network has demonstrated again and again its commitment to alleviating hunger in many ways. I hope to bring new perspective and innovative ideas to the organization.”

Under the leadership of Emergency Food Network’s Executive Director, Helen McGovern-Pilant, Douglas will advance the organization’s Development and Communications departments.

“We are thrilled to have Michelle Douglas on the Emergency Food Network team,” said McGovern-Pilant. “She brings a wealth of experience and passion to EFN that will help lead our organization to the next level.”

 

7th Annual Fallen Officers Food Drive

On November 29th from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. we will have a pull up donation station at the Lakewood Police Station with Officers, city staff, and community members available to accept your donations. Please join us in honoring the memories of our fallen officers and helping those in need.

Lakewood, WA. November 21, 2016:

On November 29, 2009, the Lakewood Police Department and the entire Pierce County Region suffered an incredible loss when 4 of our Officers were murdered in a near-by coffee shop. Every year since we have held a food drive in their honor to benefit the Emergency Food Network of Pierce County.

In the past six years combined we have collected a total of $138,000 and 135,000 pounds of food. Our goal for the 7th anniversary is to add enough to those totals to reach $150,000 and 150,000 pounds of food.  You can help us reach our goal by donating money (cash or checks made out to Emergency Food Network) or your non-perishable food items during the week of November 28th through December 2nd at the Lakewood Police Station or Lakewood City Hall.