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Compassion in Action

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Supporting Clients and Local Food Pantries

What does “giving back” really mean? We believe that truly giving to a community means listening to the actual needs of its members, and then responding to those needs. We often partner with clients who share our values of service and community. Our team members work collaboratively with our clients to identify priorities in local communities. Following is just one example of our compassion in action.

One of the most impactful community events that our client relationships allows us to participate in is fundraising efforts for the Emergency Food Network (EFN). This is a unique organization because it supports the eradication of food insecurity by providing fresh, organic produce free of charge to local food banks, in addition to standard pantry stables such as rice, beans and canned goods. Food banks do not pay for these items, but to receive goods, they must meet one primary requirement – the food bank must provide food to people in need, regardless of community affiliations, zip code, religion, race, etc.

It is rare for food banks to be able to acquire fresh produce, so how does EFN provide this offering, and at no cost? In short, they have their own 8-acre organic farm made possible by volunteer community members and annual funding events like its annual ‘Abundance Auction.’

When Thomas Cuisine District Manager Ron Hamakawa was requested to participate in this fundraising event by donating a catered dinner, he was all in. In fact, over 16 years, Ron has served two terms on the board of directors for the Emergency Food Network representing CHI Franciscan. Between his work there, and food service management efforts of our Thomas Cuisine Team members in the Pacific Northwest, he sees the tangible connection of food and community, as a part of basic health needs.

Below, Ron shares work done in the Pacific Northwest with the greater CHI/CommonSpirit Health Community as they celebrated the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter “Laudato Si: on care for our common home”.

Thomas Cuisine Management
Ron Hamakawa

CHI Franciscan and St. Joseph Medical Center have long been passionate supporters of the Emergency Food Network (EFN), a food distribution network in Lakewood, WA. Each summer, our team volunteers their time and talent to host an auctioned dinner called Field to Feast at EFN’s Mother Earth Farm, an 8-acre organic haven in the Puyallup Valley. As guests tour the rows of greens, peppers and heirloom tomatoes, they are made aware of how this soil connects hungry families to the foods of their traditions and cultures. For some, greens are just that; but for many, they bring joy to the depths of their beings.

- Ron T. Hamakawa, Thomas Cuisine District Manager in Tacoma, WA

From our Team, To Your Community

We are enthusiastic and humbled at the opportunity to have a small hand in supporting this cause because it brings #REALFood to our most vulnerable neighbors, and helps to build healthier communities, while supporting our client’s initiatives through food and service.