Pierce County’s Emergency Food Network wants people to show off their generosity for Hunger Awareness Month this May.

“The month of May is the perfect time to bring attention to hunger,” said Michelle Douglas, CEO of Emergency Food Network, in a prepared statement. “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 1.3 million visits are made each year to food pantries, meal sites, and shelters by Pierce County residents. Fifty-six percent of the visits are by children and seniors, according to a press release from Emergency Food Network.

More than 61,000 students receive free or reduced-price meals during the week at schools throughout Pierce County, but during the summer they no longer receive those meals. Subsequently, many of the children and their families rely on food from food pantries or meal sites to supplement their nutritional intake away from school, according to the release.

“There are many ways to make an impact on hunger in the month of May,” Douglas stated. “We’ve made it easy for community members to get involved through events, volunteer opportunities, and other activities to help our neighbors in need.”

Emergency Food Network is encouraging Pierce County residents to get involved in the month of May by engaging in at least one activity to help their neighbors in need. Hunger Awareness Month activities include:

  • Walking or running at the Hunger Walk and 5K Run
  • Leaving a donation of food by your mailbox during the Letter Carriers’ Food Drive
  • Volunteering at Emergency Food Network’s warehouse or Mother Earth Farm

A complete list of Hunger Awareness Month events and volunteer opportunities can be found on the EFN website.

The largest single event planned for Hunger Awareness Month in Pierce County is the Hunger Walk and 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; for more information, visit the event’s website.