This year’s “hunger banquet” to benefit the Key Peninsula Food Bank will be a Soup Kitchen meal. Each participant will receive a bowl of soup. The difference will be in whether their ticket puts them in the 10 percent with a multi-course dinner beginning with soup, the 20 percent who will have a nourishing bowl of soup and a roll, or the 70 percent group who will stand in a soup line to receive a thin soup that won’t fill their hunger.

Committee members meet at Home Port to plan banquet details: Vicki Biggs, Norma Iverson, Arlyce Kretschman, Penny Gazabat, Vicky Lilyeblade, Carolyn Wiley, and Wally Johnson. Photo by Colleen Slater

These percentages demonstrate the ratios of the world population who live well, live moderately, or barely subsist. The meal is an awareness program, sponsored by Longbranch Improvement Club, Key Peninsula Family Resource Center, Key Peninsula Community Services and Home Port Restaurant.

The dinner takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 24, at LIC.

Carolyn Wiley of LIC suggests fasting the day of the event to “make that bowl of broth taste even better!”

Last year’s event served about 80 people, and brought in nearly $4,000 for the Key Peninsula Food Bank.

“We hope to feed up to 150 this year,” says chair Vicki Biggs, KPFRC family support worker. They have had more time to get the word out, and “there were so many good comments from those who attended last year,” she says.

Judith Weinstock of Kingston, caterer, culinary arts instructor, cookbook author, and former restaurateur, will be the main speaker.

The overall theme is sustainability, and Weinstock will encourage participants to grow some of their own food.

Table favors will be provided by Sunnycrest Nursery, and coupons from other local merchants will be included in the envelopes each diner receives at the door.

Participants open their envelopes at the same time, and the contents reveal which table they go to – The “head table” of 10 percent, the central tables of 20 percent, or the fringe tables of 70 percent of diners.

A silent auction will be held, including a soup tureen and soup bowls by potter Gary Anderson, and a model historic ship by Dave and Paula Wickland.

Soup bowls crafted by the FINE Mud Hens, Karen Craven and Ginger Kryger, and dry soup mixes made by Ruth Circle of the Longbranch Community Church will sell for $10 per bowl or bag.

The KP Food Bank has served 270 families a month since October, said Penny Gazabat, executive director of KPCS. She expects that number to increase in coming months. The food bank needs cash to buy some of the needed food, but also to cover many additional expenses. These include gas and maintenance for the trucks that pick up food, electricity costs for several refrigerators and freezers, garbage pick up, building maintenance, and little things like zipper closure plastic bags for bulk items and rubber gloves for food handlers.

Volunteers, especially drivers for food pick up, are always needed and welcome.

Gazabat said KPCS can help people who qualify for the Pierce County Energy Assistance Program.

Dinner committee members include Carolyn Wiley, Penny Gazabat, Vicky Lilyeblade, Arlyce Kretschman, Norma Iverson and Wally Johnson. Iverson and Johnson are the dinner cooks.

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