LAKEWOOD — Since the economy took a nose dive, area feeding programs report 43% more visits in 2010 than just two years prior. Emergency Food Network has met that need by distributing more than 13 million pounds of food in each of the past two years. In 2010, over 57,000 pounds of food was donated to EFN from food drives, and that does not include 300,000 pounds collected during the annual letter carriers food drive.
Many choose to conduct food drives during the holiday season; others host food drives at birthday parties or neighborhood bar-b-ques throughout the year. In 2010, the following groups and individuals held food and donation drives for EFN and broke the 1,000 pound mark: Backroads 2,000 lbs, Beth Warner 4,000 lbs, Boeing Company 4,843 lbs, Harborstone Credit Union 1,065, and Joint Base Lewis McChord 4,512 lbs. The largest food drive of the year was held by the Lakewood Police Department during the first annual Fallen Officer’s Food Drive. They raised 23,179 pounds of food. More than 60 other groups and individuals raised and additional 18,000 pounds of food for EFN through food drives in 2010.
“Needless to say, we appreciate the way that our community rallies around hunger needs at any time of the year,” says Helen McGovern, EFN’s Executive Director. McGovern suggest non-perishable items such as canned fruits, vegetables, canned meat, fish, stews, baby food, fruit juices, rice, pasta, chili, evaporated milk, and breakfast foods. “Some items are expensive for EFN to purchase. We like to encourage peanut butter drives and infant formula drives.”
EFN is able to leverage their buying and donated food to distribute $12 worth of food for every $1 donated. Donation drives are encouraged along with each food drive, as EFN can often buy multiple cans of food for the price of one can paid for at a grocery store. “Everything helps, and it’s wonderful for an office or civic group or group of neighbors to get together to make a statement that they care about those less fortunate in our community,” said McGovern.
To obtain a food drive packet from EFN, visit www.efoodnet.org or call (253) 584-1040.