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Emergency Food Network recently hired Merrit Hoeh (pronounced “Hey”) as their new Volunteer Coordinator. Merrit joins Emergency Food Network with five years of experience with non-profits, most recently as the Volunteer Coordinator with the Pacific Crest Trails Association.
Her responsibilities include managing more than 2,000 volunteers annually who help with EFN’s warehouse Repack Project and throughout the growing season at Mother Earth Farm, and she will work with community groups to coordinate fund drives and food drives.
“We could not be more pleased to have Merrit on our team,” said Executive Director Helen McGovern. “We are only able to distribute more than 15 million pounds of food annually with the support of volunteers who contribute their time and experience to help to feed hungry people in our community. I know that groups that volunteer here will love interacting with Merrit.”
Merrit is originally from Wyoming but has lived throughout the Northwest for the past ten years (with a brief stint in Missouri). She graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, camping, gardening, and chopping firewood. Says Hoeh, “I am very excited to join Emergency Food Network’s team. It allows me to continue to follow my passion for working with volunteers and serving the local community.
Interested in volunteering in our Warehouse or at Mother Earth Farm? Want to host a food drive or fund drive? Contact Merrit at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities:
- Emergency Food Network is hosting the second annual Breaking Hunger Trap Shooting Tournament in Gig Harbor on Friday, August 9. We are in need of ten volunteers from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm to help keep score, collect tickets, and register participants. Dinner is provided at no cost!
- In the beautiful Puyallup Valley is Emergency Food Network’s eight-acre organic farm. This farm-to-table operation provides a fresh and nutritious food option to individuals and families in need within our community. Volunteers are invited to lend a hand Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm as we pull weeds and harvest berries, tomatoes, onions, carrots, and squash.
- Our popular Repack Project has several upcoming openings! Volunteers join us at our Distribution Center to help repackage bulk food donations into smaller, family sized quantities. Once repackaged the food is ready to be distributed to community members in need. Opportunities are available on August 3, 15, and 24.
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. Eighty percent of all food in the county makes its way through EFN’s 22,000 square-foot warehouse in Lakewood.
For information about the Emergency Food Network, to donate, or to learn about volunteer opportunities, visit www.efoodnet.org
“A Place at the Table,” a powerful new documentary that investigates and proposes solutions to incidents of hunger experienced by millions of Americans, will be screening at The Grand Cinema from May 3-May 9.
Emergency Food Network and Immanuel Presbyterian Church are co-sponsoring a post-film discussion following the 4:20pm screening on Sunday May 5. The discussion will be led by Helen McGovern, Executive Director of Emergency Food Network, and will draw connections between the film and work being done to address hunger in Pierce County.
“The hunger-related challenges facing Tacoma/Pierce County are essentially the same as those being faced by communities all over the country,” says McGovern. “This film promises to invite audiences to join an important on-going conversation about local hunger and maximizing resources.”
Non-perishable and canned food donations will be accepted at each screening.
For More information about the “A Place at the Table” and please contact Zach@grandcinema.com (253) 593-4474.
For more information about Emergency Food Network please contact email@example.com (253) 584-1040.
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.
CANCELLED due to the weather.
Draft Horse Plows to prepare Mother Earth Farm for planting.
What’s one of the first steps required to get 150,000 pounds of fresh, organic produce to local food banks? Plowing the soil, of course.
But who best to plow the soil, a team of draft horses, or a team of Lutes basketball players and their coaches?
We’ll tip off the growing season properly with a battle to determine which species is superior, the horse, or the college basketball player. Will the draft horses plow more ground, or will 13 Lutes and their coaches?
On April 6 from 10am until 3pm, teams of drivers and plow horses from Hames & Tugs Draft Horse Club will compete against the PLU Lutes Basketball team to see which group can plow the most land at Mother Earth Farm. Their competition will have the added benefit of helping to ready the field for spring planting.
Emergency Food Network operates the 8-acre Orting farm, managed by staff member Canyon Little. This annual event exemplifies the spirit of the program. Mother Earth Farm grows more than 40 varieties of vegetables, as wells as fruit trees. Bees are kept on site to pollinate, and their honey is collected for distribution as well. Vegetables grown at Mother Earth Farm are harvested and delivered fresh to area food banks on the same day that it is harvested.
Attendees are encouraged to bring weather-appropriate clothing like boots, gloves, and raingear, a sack lunch, a camera, and chair to sit on. Be there to witness feats of strength and farming that will be talked about for generations!!
Emergency Food Network provides 14 million pounds of food to 67 food banks, meal sites, and shelters annually. An average of 115,000 clients visit feeding programs in Pierce County each month. Eighty percent of all emergency food distributed in Pierce County comes from EFN.
Directions to Mother Earth Farm
From I-5 north or south—Take Hwy. 512 (to Puyallup) and follow signs east to Highway 410 East (Yakima/Sumner) exit. Follow 410 to second Sumner exit (Valley Avenue/Orting-Highway 162); and turn right at stoplight at end of exit ramp (toward Orting). Drive approximately 1.9 miles (past Alderton and Spooner Farms) to 102nd. Look for gravel road on left—Mother Earth Farm sign will be at entrance to 102nd. Farm is at the end of the gravel road on the right. Look for the parking signs.
Mother Earth Farm
15208 102nd St E, Puyallup 98374
Click here to view the event page!