May is Hunger Awareness Month in Pierce County. This annual event inspires 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. Of these, 56 percent are visits are on behalf of children and seniors.
“The month of May is the perfect time to bring attention to hunger,” said Michelle Douglas, chief executive officer of Emergency Food Network. “Food pantries and meal sites are preparing for one of the busiest times of the year when children in Pierce County who usually receive free or reduced-price lunch and breakfast at school are out for the summer break.”
More than 61,000 students receive free or reduced-price meals during the week at schools throughout Pierce County. During the summer months, these students will no longer receive the one or two meals provided each day. 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 time away from school.
“There are many ways to make an impact on hunger in the month of May,” said Douglas. “We’ve made it easy for community members to get involved through events, volunteer opportunities, and other activities to help our neighbors in need.”
Pierce County residents are encouraged to get involved in the month of May by choosing at least one activity to help their neighbors in need. Hunger Awareness Month activities include walking or running at the Hunger Walk & 5K Run, leaving a donation of food out by your mailbox during the Letter Carriers’ Food Drive, volunteering at Emergency Food Network’s warehouse or Mother Earth Farm, and more. A complete list of Hunger Awareness Month events and volunteer opportunities can be found by visiting EFN’s website www.efoodnet.org/hunger-awareness-month.
The largest Hunger Awareness Month event is the Hunger Walk & 5K Run on May 4 at Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood. Opportunities to walk around the lake, run 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, www.efoodnet.org/HungerWalk5K.