More than 300 attendees gathered on March 14 for the Emergency Food Network’s annual Recognition Breakfast to recognize the partners in Pierce County’s effort to reduce hunger and food insecurity.

Held at the Pioneer Park Pavilion in Puyallup, the event included such guests as Mayor John Palmer of Puyallup, several elected officials, business leaders, community members, and volunteer Daffodil Princesses.

Michelle Douglas, CEO of EFN

Emergency Food Network CEO Michelle Douglas. Photo courtesy of EFN.

During the event, the David P. Ottey Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Helen McGovern-Pilant. McGovern-Pilant dedicated 10 years of her life to reducing hunger in Pierce County as the immediate past executive director of EFN, a statewide hunger advocate. She was honored for her role in increasing the reach of EFN and increasing the quality and quantity of food distributed to people in need.

“We are deeply grateful to Helen for sharing her talents, expertise, and passion with Emergency Food Network.” stated Michelle Douglas, EFN’s chief executive officer. “Her dedication and innovations have set EFN on a path to efficiently and effectively serve the Pierce County community.”

The EFN also honored this year’s recipients of the 2018 Silver Spoon Awards, recognizing individuals, businesses, and organizations who have made a substantial impact on ending food insecurity in the region. This year’s winners are:

  • Toyota Lift Northwest – Corporate Partner of the Year
  • Imperfect Produce – Mother Earth Farm Support
  • Edgewood Nourish Food Pantry – John Schultz Partner Food Program
  • Port of Tacoma – Volunteer Service, Group
  • Donna King – Volunteer Service, Individual
  • Fallen Officers Food Drive – Helen McGovern-Pilant Substantial Collection Effort
  • Pepsico – Food System Support

Awards were also given to EFN’s corporate and civic partners.

Toyota Lift Northwest was the Presenting Sponsor of the Recognition Breakfast. Other sponsors included Chuckals Office Products, Coordinated Care, Waste Connections, Whole Foods Market Chambers Bay, CHI Franciscan Health, Columbia Bank, DaVita, Financial Insights, Gordon Thomas Honeywell, Gus Paine Insurance, HomeStreet Bank, IBEW Local 483, MultiCare, Northwest Harvest, Panagiotu Pension Advisors, Pierce College, Port of Tacoma, Snuffin’s Catering, South Hill Fred Meyer, Teamsters Local Union 117, TOTE Maritime Alaska, TrueBlue, TwinStar Credit Union, UFCW Local 367, Western Container Corporation, and Zack Rosenbloom & Associates.

During the event, EFN encouraged guests to attend their next event, the Hunger Walk & 5K Run on May 4 at Fort Steilacoom Park. Opportunities to walk, run in the chip-timed 5K, or volunteer at the event are available. Visit the Hunger Walk & 5K Run Web site for more information or to register.