On April 17, 2013, Emergency Food Network hosted its annual Recognition Breakfast to honor those in the community who go above and beyond in the fight against hunger in Pierce County.
EFN’s Silver Spoon Award goes to people and organizations that had a substantial impact on the emergency food system in the past year. This year’s categories and recipients are:
Corporate Partner of the Year: Financial Insights
Mother Earth Farm Support: Convergint Technologies
Partner Feeding Program: FISH Mobile Food Bank
Food System Support: Quaker Oats Pepsico Tacoma
Foundation Partner: The Medina Foundation
Substantial Collection Effort: JBLM Commissary Vendor Food Drive
Volunteer Service: Brenda Enninga, Goodwill Pierce County Workfirst Consortium
System Sustenance: American Leadership Forum Class XVIII
This year’s David P. Ottey Lifetime Achievement Award to honor an individual with a sustained dedication to EFN’s mission “to provide a reliable food supply so that no person in Pierce County goes hungry” went to Retha Hayward from the Manitou Art Center, a longtime Empty Bowls volunteer. Retha and her studio are directly responsible for throwing, firing, and glazing more than half of the 1,200 bowls sold at the annual Empty Bowls fundraising event, which last year brought in $30,000 for EFN.
EFN also honored its 2013 Corporate and Civic Partners. Qualifying businesses and groups are involved with EFN in any three of the following ways:
Hosting a fund drive or food drive
Having an employee involved on our Board of Directors or a committee
Contributing $1000 or more to EFN
Purchasing a table at our auction for $1000
Bringing a group to volunteer at our warehouse or farm
Placing a link to EFN on your website
Helping EFN in another significant way
The 2013 Corporate and Civic Partners are:
Chuckals Office Products
Gordon Thomas Honeywell
Franciscan Health System and Foundation
Lakewood Police Department
Pierce County Central Labor Council
Rotary District 5020
Teamsters Local 117
Tucci and Sons
About our Silver Spoon Award recipients
Financial Insights: In addition to providing financial advice and retirement planning to EFN employees, in 2012, Financial Insights sponsored EFN’s Auction and Recognition Breakfast, held a staff appreciation event for EFN employees, and hosted a catered event at Mother Earth Farm to thank our top supporters and monthly donors. Company founder Dorothy Lewis is a longtime friend of EFN, and EFN values her commitment to the fight against hunger. We are grateful to the amazing staff at Financial Insights for their support and kindness in 2012.
Convergint Technologies: In the winter of 2012, EFN received funding to build a new 3,000 square-foot greenhouse at Mother Earth Farm. In June, Over 100 engineers from Convergint Technologies constructed enough tables to fill the greenhouse, and also helped install an irrigation system. They weeded the entire farm, painted tables, built a cold frame, and cleaned up the farm’s picnic area and front entrance. Their expertise helped Mother Earth Farm to a successful growing season, with a harvest of 150,000 pounds of fresh fruits, vegetables, and honey, which was distributed to Pierce County food banks.
FISH Mobile Food Bank: FISH Board Member Mike Mowat invested his personal time and funds to make his vision for this food delivery method a reality, re-fitting a moving truck with shelves, ramps, and mini-shopping carts. It was very important to Mike that the Mobile Food Bank follow the same procedures as the seven brick and mortar FISH Food Banks. Clients are not handed a pre-filled bag; rather, they are able to “shop” for the foods that best meet their needs. Currently, the Mobile Food Bank is located in five different sites, Monday through Friday each week. It is able to move where the community needs it most. In 2012, the Mobile Food Bank’s first year of operation, more than 29,000 individuals were served 260,000 meals.
Medina Foundation: For 20 years, The Medina Foundation has been an important part of Pierce County’s fight against hunger, from the first grant to EFN for $5,000 in 1993 to providing one and two-year grants ranging $20,000 – $30,000 annually throughout the past decade. Most recently, The Medina Foundation helped support EFN’s operation with $60,000 from 2011 to 2012, translating to 175,000 meals each year.
Quaker Oats Pepsico: The sheer volume of product donated by Quaker Oats Pepsico is astounding–1,866,806 pounds in 2012, out of 15.1 million total distributed by EFN last year. Granola bars, snack food, Gatorade are all great food items for area youth. Because of this company’s generosity, more kids have access to snacks that keep them alert and fed during the school day.
JBLM Commissary Vendors: Vendors host a food drive for EFN every year. In 2012, they collected more than 23,000 pounds of food to aid in our efforts to fight hunger in Pierce County.
Brenda Enninga and the Workfirst Consortium: Goodwill employee Brenda Enninga works with EFN’s Volunteer Coordinator to place Community Jobs workers in our warehouse, where they learn essential job skills and also have the opportunity to become certified forklift operators. Community Jobs workers sort food, build orders, answer phones, and help with mailings. They are essential to EFN’s day-to-day operations.
ALF Class XVIII: American Leadership Forum class participants are community leaders from Pierce County business, nonprofit, government, and education sectors. Class XVIII’s culminating project took a deep look at the emergency food system in Pierce County to determine whether the current model can be improved to more efficiently provide food to clients when and where they need it. As a result of their analysis, EFN and its partner programs will build on these findings to determine what concrete steps can be taken to improve service and delivery of emergency food.
Emergency Food Network provides more than 15.1 million pounds of healthy, nutritious food annually at no cost to over 67 food banks, hot meal sites and shelters for distribution to low-income families and individuals. In 2012, programs in our network accommodated 1,381,602 total visits. EFN spent nearly $1.45 per visit to assure that each time a community member walked into a food program with nothing, they walked out with enough food for 11 meals. With an administrative overhead of under 4%, EFN distributes $12 worth of food for every $1 we receive.