The battle royale between Mill Ridge Village Executive Director Jennifer Reich and Fife-Milton-Edgewood Chamber of Commerce's Director of Membership Development April Balsley has been extended to June 26.
The two are battling over who can gather the most food for the Edgewood Fish Food Bank to benefit those in need in our community. The friendly challenged started at the first of the month and had been set to end with a final weighing of the food on June 17. But the flow of food between Reich's "Team Red" (Reich) and Balseley's "Team Blue" prompted an extension. So you still have time to donate.
With a week to go in this second-annual event, both teams have gathered a combined 600 pounds of food and $450 in donations.
Each team has their donation barrels placed around Fife, Milton and Edgewood, where people can drop off non-perishable food into the bin of their choice. Donation barrels are located at: The Fife Milton Edgewood Chamber of Commerce, Fife History Museum, Fife's Columbia Bank branch, Kitsap Bank, Copy Wrights, Milton City Hall, Milton's Anytime Fitness, Dave's of Milton, Edgewood's Krafters Korner, Fife Towing and Recovery, Louie G's, Lois Leavitt Marquart of Genuine Auto Glass and Uptown Koffee & Kafe.
People can also donate money, payable to Fish Food Bank, which serves 518,000 individuals facing significant hardships around Pierce County. Since 2008, the community's need for food distribution through FISH has increased 132 percent. FISH Food Banks is the oldest and largest food bank network in Pierce County, with locations in Edgewood, Graham/South Hill, Lakewood, Northeast Tacoma, Northwest Tacoma, Southeast Tacoma and West Tacoma. FISH's Mobile Food Bank visits a different location daily, including schools in the Bethel, Clover Park and Tacoma School Districts.
Because so many food bank clients need more than food, FISH opened Connection Centers and clothing banks to provide free clothing to families in need. At Fish, 97 cents of every dollar donated goes to food distribution. In 2015, more than $10 million of in-kind food was donated, and FISH spent an additional $380,000 procuring nutritious food to ensure a sufficient and balanced selection. For every $1 donated, FISH can distribute more than $9 worth of food. The average cost per meal is only 18 cents thanks to the 700 volunteers who make daily food bank operations possible. More information can be found at fishfoodbanks.org.