The holiday giving season may be officially over, but the folks at Schnitzer Steel must not have received the memo. They recently contributed $10,562.70 and over 983 pounds of food to Emergency Food Network as part of their “Racing to Stop Hunger” program. Employees volunteered 48 hours of their time, with Schnitzer Steel contributing $10 per hour to EFN.
In 2010, Schnitzer Steel created a company-wide charitable giving initiative that supports meaningful connections between employees and their local food banks. Nationally, Schnitzer Steel will match employee donations of food, volunteer hours and funds up to $250,000 during fiscal year 2011. The company’s Tacoma location chose Emergency Food Network as the beneficiary of their efforts in Pierce County. Schnitzer Steel is one of the nation’s largest recyclers of scrap metal, a leading provider of used and recycled auto parts and a manufacturer of finished steel products.
EFN relies on a combination of purchased food, contributed food, and donations from food and fund drives by companies like Schnitzer Steel to help Pierce County feeding programs meet the needs of the 145,000 individuals who visit food banks each month. Eighty percent of the food distributed by the 67 food banks, meal sites, and shelters EFN serves is resourced and distributed through the organization’s warehouse in Lakewood.
“We depend on companies like Schnitzer Steel, and we are so grateful for this gift,” said Emergency Food Network Executive Director Helen McGovern. “When a business or corporation allows for a culture of giving, our entire community benefits.” McGovern noted that other area business and corporations host food and donation drives throughout the year and that any time is a good time contribute towards reducing food insecurity.
EFN’s mission is to “provide a reliable food supply so that no person in Pierce County goes hungry.” EFN welcomes financial donations as well as food donations. McGovern recommends non-perishable items such as peanut butter, canned meat, fish, beans and chili, canned fruits and vegetables, rice and pasta.
The organization’s increased emphasis on Food Purchasing capitalizes on EFN’s ability to leverage purchasing power to distribute $12 worth of food for every $1 donated. A $10,000 gift allows EFN to distribute $120,000 worth of food. In 2010, EFN distributed 14.1 million pounds of food, valued at more than $18.5 million.
For information about the Emergency Food Network, to donate, or to learn about volunteer opportunities, visit www.efoodnet.org.