In addition to gleaning from farms and encouraging gardeners to plant extra for their food banks, Pierce County is home to its own Food Bank Farm operated by EFN, Mother Earth Farm. A handful of food banks in Pierce County also boast their own gardens. Learn more about what’s going on in Pierce County below.
Mother Earth Farm: In May of 2000, Mother Earth Farm, a project of the Emergency Food Network was formed. Watch a brief YouTube video with the founding farmer, Carrie Little here. Mother Earth Farm is an eight-acre organic farm located in the lush Puyallup Valley. The Farm produces over 150,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables each growing season which is distributed directly to local food banks and hot meal programs. Produce from the Farm is in the hands of food bank clients within eight hours of being harvested! Mother Earth Farm was developed to provide a stable, internal source of fresh food for EFN and the food programs it serves. It is a working farm that relies primarily on volunteers. The farm also has relationship in place with the Washington Correctional Center for Women at Purdy providing job training for women inmates. Watch another more recent video on the farm here.
Many food banks in Pierce County are connected with churches. Often these churches have sustainability groups who are interested in pursuing environmental initiatives such as starting a food bank garden. Look into what resources your community already has and what you might be able to support.
Lakes FISH Food Bank: Lakes FISH, located at a local Methodist Church, is an interesting twist on the typical food bank garden. Last year the church had a couple of raised beds that supplied the food bank with fresh produce. This year, the church has expanded the number of raised beds and is developing a food bank community garden. The vision is for food bank clients to rent a plot free of cost and learn gardening skills to grow their own produce. Clients will be provided with seeds and plant starts as well.