Adopt-a-Row groups have plants in the ground!

JBLM squadron 627 CS/Cobras has planted three rows of swiss chard! They checked in last week to weed their rows and add compost.














Girl Scout Troop 40519 planted three rows of kale last month and were just out at Mother Earth Farm on Saturday to keep their rows free of weeds!












Tacoma-Kenrick #2 Rainbow Girls have planted three rows of swiss chard and will be back at Mother Earth Farm this week to weed, weed, weed!


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

One caring person can put a dent in hunger

by Helen McGovern-Pilant

People have a lot of misimpressions about hunger. Many think it’s associated only with homelessness when it also affects working families, kids and seniors. Hunger is often invisible, but it exists in our neighbors’ homes, our schools and our workplaces.

“Food insecurity” is a term developed to describe households that are financially stretched to the point where they cannot be certain that all members will have enough to eat.

Pierce County residents experiencing food insecurity made 1.3 million visits to food pantries and meal sites in 2016. Fifty four percent of recipients were seniors and working families with children. The number that continues to go up at an alarming rate is seniors — up 30 percent in the past five years.

Approximately 60,000 children in the Pierce County school system receive free or reduced-price lunch. Some also receive breakfast. When school is out, the majority of these children will not have access to the summer meal programs that are dotted throughout the county.

May is Hunger Awareness Month in Pierce County. At Emergency Food Network, we want you to be aware of these facts as you see the many ways you can make a difference. You can join us in providing the food that will be needed when more families, your neighbors, make extra trips to the food pantry.

We distribute more than 14.8 million pounds of food each year to our pantries and meal sites. That is equal to 25 semi-trailers a month.

But there is always something just one person can do to make a difference.

You can plant an extra row in your garden and take that food to a food bank. You can make a cash donation. You can register your fruit trees with Harvest Pierce County’s Gleaning Project, and someone will come and harvest the excess.

On May 13, the morning of the annual Letter Carriers Food Drive, you can leave a bag by your mailbox. If your donation can be just one item, please consider a protein such as peanut butter or tuna. If it can be more, add stew, canned fruit or vegetables, or baby formula.

Our network’s mission statement reads: “Providing Pierce County with a consistent, diverse, and nutritious food supply so that no person goes hungry.” For the last six years, we have purchased six food items — rice, beans, oats, canned fruit, canned vegetable and a frozen protein — to distribute alongside the government and donated food we already receive.

The one food group lacking is dairy. With your help, we will be adding dairy items to our purchased product list. The monies we raise from this month’s 2017 Hunger Walk & 5K Run will help launch that addition.

You can form a team with neighbors, family or co-workers and join hundreds at Fort Steilacoom Park for the walk and run on May 20.

There is so much we all can do. What we cannot do is ignore food insecurity.

The Feed: May 2017 eNews

Click here to view the full issue of The Feed: May 2017 eNews

In this issue: Food for Thought, Hunger Walk & 5K Run, GiveBIG to EFN, Letter Carriers’ Food Drive, Mother Earth Farm Update, Volunteer Story, Partner Program Highlight, Generous Support

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.