Gateway: Living

Second annual #Community Harvest project continues to fight hunger

In less than a month since rolling out goals for the next 10 months, nearly two dozen local businesses and organizations have pledged their support for the second annual #Community Harvest project, which aims to end hunger in the greater Gig Harbor and Key peninsula community.

The aim of the collaborative community-wide project, led by the Greater Gig Harbor Foundation, is to secure funding and ingredients for about 12,000 nutritious meals to feed 425 local families in need every weekend for 29 weeks from the end of October through the end of the school year. As in 2016, the local beneficiary groups assuring meal delivery are Food Backpacks 4 Kids and the Gig Harbor Basket Brigade.

“Successful partnerships are the key to making a positive impact in our community, and we’re proud to work with two great organizations that do so much for families across our two peninsula community,” Judd Morris, GGHF vice president and the chair of the foundation’s Social Capital Core Area Board, said in a release.

Kitsap Credit Union has pledged a full meal sponsorship, valued at $5,000. Other financial sponsors committed to date include Windermere Real Estate, For the Love of Spice, Buck’s Steakhouse and Bar, Resource Dimensions, and U.S. Bank.

#Community Harvest takes an innovative approach to empower anyone and everyone to participate in taking action against hunger in the local community.

Several area businesses have already stepped up to help. Destiny Harbor Tours is hosting a three-hour “Cruise for Hunger” on Friday (Sept. 8) that sold out within just a few days. Captain Tom Drohan will host the tour, which includes beverages and appetizers, for about 30 aboard the Riviera. Proceeds from the evening will go to the #Community Harvest project.

Another upcoming event is “Hops for Hunger,” hosted by Wet Coast Brewing, which will donate $1 to #Community Harvest for every pint sold on Thursday, Oct. 12, from 5 to 8 p.m.

Many other Gig Harbor-area locations will be hosting ingredient collection sites for specific #Community Harvest crockpot recipes. They include: Gig Harbor Visitor Center, Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce, Harbor History Museum, and both the Gig Harbor and Key Center branches of the Pierce County Library System. Others, like For the Love of Spice and Green Cottage Pets, have committed to being monetary donations sites. Look for donation boxes and collection sites popping up around the community throughout the first week of September.

#Community Harvest will be celebrated during Make a Difference Day on Saturday, Oct. 28, when food will be counted, sorted and boxed up at the foundation’s location, 7191 Wagner Way, Suite 102.

The recipe contest and nonprofit partnerships helps the Foundation reach as many people on both peninsulas as possible, foundation CEO Julie Ann Gustanski said.

“The project is somewhat like Northwest Harvest, but every donation to #Community Harvest stays right here in our Gig Harbor and Key peninsula community,” she said. “Today, with 1 in 7 of our neighbors (1 in 4 children) at risk of missing a meal on any given day, the face of hunger in our community may not even be those we expect. #Community Harvest offers a positive way to help our neighbors in need.”

The project also provides a portion of Thanksgiving Day meals through the Gig Harbor Basket Brigade.

Twenty-nine recipes will be selected — one for each week — and they will be compiled in a cookbook that will be available for $12 in October.

For more information on #Community Harvest and how to get involved, visit gigharborfoundation.org/communityharvest or call 253-514-6338.

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