Shoppers at the South Hill Mall on Saturday and May 15 will have a chance to turn their sweet tooth into a sweet deal for the Puyallup Food Bank.
That’s when the food bank will hold two more of its popular “candy buffets” — candy sales in which customers buy an empty box and fill it from tables filled with a wide variety of donated candy.
The buffets will be from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday for the pre-Mother’s Day event and from 4-8 p.m. on May 15 for the South Hill Mall Girl’s Night Out free event.
“The candy buffet has been wildly successful since its inception,” said Shanna Peterson, director of operations for the food bank.
The first in the series was on May 3 and 4. Food bank volunteers waved empty boxes at Center Court in the mall to entice shoppers to fill them with candy.
Empty boxes sold for $10 to $15, and shoppers were busy stuffing them with candy from long tables laden with a variety of sweets.
“With a $10 donation, we can provide 48 nutritious meals to a local family,” said Peterson. “And with shoppers buying this as a gift for mom, it is a great way to show her she did a good job raising a good kid. And, she gets something sweet.”
Peterson said she is grateful for the partnership with South Hill Mall and their willingness to let them run the event.
All of the candy is donated, she said, and all proceeds go straight to the Puyallup Food Bank.
Peterson said this time of year is particularly difficult for the food bank, as donations start to drop off.
Donations at the Spring Fair food drive helped restock the shelves of the food bank.
“We did fantastic at the Spring Fair and we are always grateful to the Washington State Fair for allowing us to continue to hold the food drives,” said Peterson.
Vanetta Moncrease was shopping with her daughter and granddaughter Saturday when she saw the candy buffet and stopped to buy a box for her 77-year-old mother.
“She had eleven children and after raising them she went back to school to become an RN. She is a sweetheart,” said Moncrease.
Rosalyn Vargas volunteered at the Spring Fair and was back volunteering at the candy buffet on Saturday.
Vargas, who is from California, came to the area with the Christian Biker Tabernacle to do volunteer work. “I’m donating my time to be a blessing to the food bank,” she said.
Girl’s Night Out will also have JCP Salon, Sephora, Gene Juarez, Regis Salon and AVEDA on hand to pamper guests. Goodie bags will be given to the first 50 women to arrive.Joan Cronk is a freelance writer for The Herald. She can be reached at joan.cronk @comcast.net.