The Feed: January 2015 eNews

Click here to view the full issue of The Feed: January 2015 eNews

In this issue: Thank You, A Note from EFN’s Mother Earth Farm, New EFN Video, Goodbye Jeff Klein & Canyon Little, Volunteers of the Month

The Feed Jan 2015

Empty Bowls Event to Feature Local Potters, Soup, and Hunger Relief

26724869_rPR98V-21The line starts forming an hour before the doors open. That’s when the semi-mad dash begins for the “best” bowls. Preference, of course, is relative. One person might grab a bowl donated by Throwing Mud Gallery, and another person chooses a bowl made and donated by a child at the Washington State Fair. Once selections are made and paid for, with all proceeds going to Emergency Food Network (EFN), attendees make their way to eat free soup, donated by Viva, Pacific Grill, The Swiss, Adriatic Grill, Infinite Soups, X-Group Restaurants, Alina Soups, Puget Sound Family Health and Chambers Bay.

It’s an annual tradition enjoyed by more than 500 people each year. More than 1,500 bowls are purchased for the home or for holiday gifts, and more than 700 bowls of soup are consumed over 2.5 hours. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, November 22, 2014 at Charles Wright Academy from 1:00pm-3:30pm. Admission is FREE. Bowl prices start at $10 and go up from there.

Empty Bowls began as a grassroots project for local artists and community members to work together to assist people suffering from hunger. The event now spans to twelve countries and many states across the U.S., generating millions of dollars for various hunger relief agencies. For the last 15 years, EFN has hosted Empty Bowls in Pierce County, highlighting works from talented veteran artists and new local talent. In 2013, EFN raised over $30,000 from Empty Bowls. This is the equivalent of 180,000 meals for food-insecure Pierce County residents.

26724869_rPR98V-14In 2013, EFN distributed 15.6 million pounds of food to 63 area food banks, meal sites, and shelters. EFN made it possible for our partner food programs to accommodate 1,404,755 total visits in Pierce County. Since 2008, the demand for emergency food has increased 69% in our community. To assist in meeting this need, EFN relies on events like Empty Bowls.

The continued success of Empty Bowls is due to the overwhelming community support from artist who donate the bowls, volunteers who set up and help run the event, local restaurants that donate soup, and the 500-plus community members who attend the event. “Empty Bowls provides all the lonely bowls I make throughout the year a wonderful home,” says Jenifer Davis, a local potter who throws bowls every year for the event. “I love that I can be part of this wonderful event.”

For more information, visit www.efoodnet.org and click on the events page or donate button, call 253-584-1040, or email info@efoodnet.org.

Collective Generosity at Emergency Food Network’s Abundance Auction

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The formula for providing healthy, nutritious, staple food for hungry people in Pierce County is pretty simple. The more funds and food donated to Emergency Food Network, the more food the organization can provide. On October 25, attendees at EFN’s annual auction raised $325,000–enough funds to provide nearly 2 million meals to hungry families and individuals throughout the community.

“The concern for our neighbors in need that was shown was absolutely amazing.” said EFN Executive Director Helen McGovern-Pilant. “Every year when I see bid cards flying up, I get chills while adding in my head how many hungry people we’ll get to feed as a result. Every dollar provides six meals and all the people here tonight are so generously ensuring that we can fight hunger in Pierce County with funds for healthy, nutritious food.”

The evening began with a silent auction, and moved on to dinner, live auction, and presentations about hunger in Pierce County. Tim Solomonov, a student at UWT, told how when his family first immigrated from Ukraine in his childhood, they relied on food banks while finding their legs. He shared how he was “shocked” to see the amount of healthy food on his first tour of EFN. From there, a video showed the true scope of our county’s need, which has grown to 1.4 million food site visits in 2013, and 117,000 visits each month so far in 2014. EFN helps by distributing 15.5 million pounds of food annually. The auction total accounts for 15% of their operating budget.

Considering EFN’s ability to distribute $12 worth of food for every $1 donated, EFN’s powers of multiplication will have a huge impact on the food system. That is how $325,000 results in 2 million meals.

“Once each year, the McGavick Center is the place where our supporters help us make incredible strides towards ensuring that no person goes hungry,” added EFN Board President Therese Pasquier. “We hope everyone had fun, and we also hope everyone left knowing that they made a huge difference for the 63 food banks, meal sites, and shelters in our network. We’re grateful to all who attended tonight, and to our Presenting Sponsors: Waste Connections and Franciscan Health.

For more information, visit www.efoodnet.org and click on the events page or donate button, or call 253-584-1040, or email abundance@efoodnet.org.

Hunger Action Month

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September is Hunger Action Month, a nationwide campaign by Feeding America to mobilize the public to take action to fight hunger. Here’s how you can raise awareness about the 1.4 million annual visits to Pierce County Food Banks:

  1. Wear Orange on September 4, and share a photo on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter with the hastag #goorange
  2. Make it a point to volunteer this month at Emergency Food Network or at your local food bank. Contact volunteer@efoodnet.org
  3. Host a food drive in your place of business or community group. Challenge others to see who can raise more! Post about your success! View EFN’s Food and Fund Drive Kit.
  4. If you are healthy and can do so safely, try skipping a meal this month and donating what you would have spent on that meal to a local emergency food program like EFN or one of the sites we serve. Make a video of your endeavor, and post it to your social media pages (It’s better than pouring a bucket of food on your head!).

More Action:

  • Invite a food bank speaker to talk to your group about hunger in our community
  • Donate extra produce from your garden to your local food bank (post about it!)
  • Start putting together your walking team for the Pierce County Hunger Walk on October 5!
  • “Like” Emergency Food Network on Facebook, follow Emergencyfoodnetwork on Instagram, and follow @efoodnet on Twitter