Why Paula Supports EFN

Paula Henson-Williams

Paula is the Vice Chair of EFN’s Board of Directors and has volunteered at our Repack Project with the Board of Directors and her motorcycle club. Q: How long have you been connected with EFN?

Q: How long have you been connected with EFN? 
A: I have been connected to EFN for approximately the last 5 years. I knew very little about the organization, but really connected with the mission. I knew that EFN was a vital service to our community and I was looking at ways that I could give back and make an impact on my community.

Q: How did you get involved with EFN?
A: I attended my first EFN event back in November 2012. It was the Vessels pre-fundraiser event for Empty Bowls. The Vessels event highlighted local artists and provided attendees an opportunity to connect with the community as well as EFN. It was at this event that I met Jeff Klein, former Director of Development.

Q: Why do you support EFN?
A: Hunger awareness is a passion for me and an area that I can connect with and see a positive difference that EFN makes within our community. I also like that the money that is raised by EFN goes to directly support those in need within our community. You can really see the difference that is being made and the important positive impact EFN has on the community. I also appreciate EFN’s collaboration with other food partners. I think it’s important to have a close relationship in order to make the biggest difference.

Q: Why do you serve on the EFN Board?
A: It’s important for me to be able to give back to my community. I believe that service within your community is important. The mission of EFN is one that anyone can get behind and support. Serving on the Board of Directors is truly an honor. EFN has a very talented staff and committed Board of Directors, so anything that I can do to further the mission of the organization, I’m willing and ready to do.

Q: What has been your most memorable experience with EFN?
A: The first time I toured the warehouse, I was truly in awe. I had no idea about the capacity or the amount of food that comes in and goes out regularly. You can just look around the warehouse and imagine all of the families that are going to be served within our community. The warehouse is truly an amazing place.

Join Paula in helping make sure no person in Pierce County goes hungry. Make a donation to Emergency Food Network today!

Why Ron Supports EFN

Ron Hamakawa

Ron joined the EFN Board of Directors 13 years ago, helping lead EFN through the Great Recession and an increase of over 580,000 guest visits to food programs per year.

Q: How did you get involved with EFN?

A: I started off completing the term of a Director I replaced, but quickly realized that the bulk of my professional life involved feeding people, whether through restaurants or hospitals. There’s a natural fit in feeding someone, be it in a waterfront restaurant or at a food pantry.”

Q: As a Board Member, what stands out to you about EFN?

A: The ability to meet the need in the community over all these years, even though visits have grown year over year, is all because of ongoing, generous support from members of the community.

Q: What’s your favorite EFN event?

A: My favorite event is always Empty Bowls. I particularly like that it is a grassroots event that continues to evolve. We can do the event for very little cost, introduce new people to EFN and raise significant funds for EFN.

Q: Why do you think people should support EFN?

A: Because everybody has a story and we shouldn’t ever judge people. I’ve been extremely fortunate, by happenstance or luck, that my family was never challenged by food insecurity. There is a Japanese expression, mottainai, which means wasteful. Growing up, my grandmother demonstrated that wasting food was never acceptable. We focused on not spilling any grains of uncooked rice down the sink, even if it was just five grains of rice. But five grains of rice is only five grains if you’re not hungry.

Join Ron in helping make sure no person in Pierce County goes hungry. Make a donation to Emergency Food Network today!

Why Tae Supports EFN

Tae Wood

Tae is a member of EFN’s Ambassador Board, a group of young professionals dedicated to raising awareness about hunger in our community. Tae joined the Ambassador Board in 2017 and helped make our annual Casino Royale event a huge success! A recent Q&A with Tae reveals why she is passionate about supporting Emergency Food Network and commits her time on the EFN Ambassador Board.

Q: How long have you been connected with EFN?

A: I have volunteered with different EFN events over the past several years and have become more involved over the past year and am enjoying each chance I get to connect with the EFN group and the community.

Q: How did you get involved with EFN?

A: I have become more involved with EFN with my employers (TrueBlue) support and their existing involvement.

Q: Why do you support EFN?

A: I support EFN for many reasons. They take on the great responsibility of offering a tangible benefit to my local community by helping to feed those in need. They have a farm with organic produce to promote healthy eating which is amazing. My family loves going to the farm to help out where we can and it feels nice to be part of something bigger than just ourselves. Setting a good example for my children to know the value of service and the good it can do has been priceless as well. I am grateful to be involved in a cause that supports Pierce County in such a positive way.

Q: Why do you serve on the EFN Ambassador Board?

A: Serving on the Ambassador Board allows for me to connect with others that hold the same value of service and contributing to our local neighborhoods. It’s rewarding and fun to be involved with these people in finding ways to help the community in the way EFN does. I look forward to continuing to grow my relationship with this group and with EFN!

Join Tae in helping make sure no person in Pierce County goes hungry. Make a donation to Emergency Food Network today!

Why Steve Supports EFN

Steve Thompson

Steve and his wife, Pat, have been volunteering at Emergency Food Network since 2010 when Steve’s company built the planter in our parking lot and painted walls in our warehouse. Now, Steve is a regular presence at EFN, stocking the Nourish/EFN Mobile Food Bank and giving out food to guests.

For Steve, supporting neighbors in need traces back multiple generations. “When my dad was a young man during the depression, his mom never turned anyone away,” Steve said.

Steve supports EFN because “the need for help is probably more than it has ever been in our community.” In addition to brightening the lives’ of others, volunteering makes Steve’s days better too. “When you give of yourself and help others, you gain so much. I feel great for the entire day after working on the mobile food bank.”

When asked about his favorite part about volunteering with EFN, he said: “handing out treats to kids and seeing them smile.”

Join Steve in helping make sure no person in Pierce County goes hungry. Make a donation to Emergency Food Network today!

Empty Bowls Event Will Help Fill Bowls of Neighbors in Need

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Local potters, woodworkers, and glassblowers have spent countless hours making bowls this past year to donate to Empty Bowls, an annual event that aims to fill the empty bowls of Pierce County residents in need.

Each year, the line starts forming an hour before the doors open. Then the search for the “best” bowls begins. Preference, of course, is relative. One person might grab a bowl donated by Throwing Mud Gallery, and another person chooses a bowl made by a local artist at the Washington State Fair. Once selections are made and purchased, with all proceeds going to Emergency Food Network (EFN), attendees make their way to eat free soup, donated and served by Chambers Bay Grill, Indo Asian Street Eatery, Infinite Soups, Pacific Grill, Spring Lake Café, Stanley and Seaforts, The Swiss, and X-Group Restaurants.

It’s an annual tradition enjoyed by more than 500 people each year. More than 1,000 bowls are purchased for the home or for holiday gifts, and more than 700 bowls of soup are consumed over two and a half hours. This year’s event is Saturday, November 18, 2017 at Charles Wright Academy from 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm. Admission is FREE. Bowl prices start at $10.

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 18 years, EFN has hosted Empty Bowls in Pierce County, highlighting works from talented veteran artists and new local talent. In 2016, EFN raised over $31,000 from Empty Bowls. This is the equivalent of 160,000 meals for food-insecure Pierce County residents.

Sponsors for this year’s Empty Bowls event include Heartland Express, Whole Foods Market Chambers Bay, Coordinated Care, HomeStreet Bank, Inn at Gig Harbor, Johnson Stone and Pagano, Kidder Matthews, Panattoni Development, UFCW Local 367, and Zack Rosenbloom & Associates.

The continued success of Empty Bowls is due to the overwhelming community support from artists 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.

For more information about Empty Bowls www.efoodnet.org/event/empty-bowls-2017