For those struggling to feed themselves and their family, relying on the Puyallup Food Bank occurs more than just around Thanksgiving and Christmas.
So much so, the food bank hosts fundraisers throughout the year to not only financially support the organization but to raise awareness as well.
“Most who rely on the food bank are families that have jobs, cars and homes, and look like they have it all together,” said Shanna Peterson, executive director. “They make too much to get any assistance. They don’t qualify, but are still short every month. It frees up money for them to pay their other bills.”
One of those ways is an Easter Candy Buffet with a raffle Saturday (March 19) and March 26 at the South Hill Mall.
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For $15 or $20, participants in the candy buffet will get a container that they can fill with as much candy as they would like, as long as the lid closes.
“The candy is donated, and the South Hill Mall lets us use the space for free,” Peterson said. “It’s 100 percent profit for the food bank.”
In years past, the candy buffet has brought in $3,000 to $4,000, which equates to 19,200 meals for those who utilize the food bank.
Additionally, food bank officials will also host a raffle for a new bicycle, jewelery, gift cards and movie tickets.
The food bank also sponsors the annual Easter Bash on March 26, where children of all ages take to the mall to find Easter eggs.
“My favorite part is seeing the kids all dressed up in their Sunday best,” Peterson said. “They come all dressed up to get their pictures taken with the Easter Bunny, and then stick around for the Easter Egg Hunt.”
Peterson estimated nearly 800 to 1,200 kids usually attend the Easter Egg Hunt.
The Easter Bash is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 26. The Easter Candy Buffet will run Saturday and March 26 inside the mall.