One pie can feed a family of four for days.
It sounds improbable, but that’s what happens when the Olympia Pie Bakers Guild has a pie-baking contest and sells the entries to benefit feeding programs. Each donated pie is cut into 8 pieces that are sold for $3 a piece, so each pie raises $24.
“Last year, we raised almost $8,000 for the Senior Nutrition Program and the (Thurston County) Food Bank in a few hours,” said Kathy Kinard, Pie Fest volunteer and bakers guild member.
Pie Fest is a two-part celebration. The event is Saturday (Feb. 27), and begins with the contest. Bakers in three age categories (6-12 years old, 13-18 years old and adults) drop off entries of two identical pies that do not require refrigeration (that means no cream pies) between 10 and 11:30 a.m. Those pies are sliced and judged by local professional bakers and culinary instructors.
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Winners are announced starting at 1 p.m. when the event opens to pie eaters, and prizes are awarded. The event runs from 1-3:30 p.m., and people can buy a slice of pie for $3 or a donation of three cans of food. Winning pies will be auctioned.
Bakers who are too shy to enter the contest, or are intimidated by making a homemade crust, can donate pies just to be sliced and sold, Kinard said. She said that homemade crusts are required for the contest pies, but store-bought crusts are fine for donated pies.
Because the event has run out of pie in recent years, organizers this year enlisted help from the South Puget Sound Community College baking program. Students are contributing 40 pies, which will be made from fruit donated by the food bank.
The Olympia Center, where the Pie Fest is held, is also the home of the Olympia senior nutrition program. Executive director Eileen McKenzieSullivan said that senior services serves about 3,000 individuals a year at all its locations, providing a total of about 55,000 meals. The meals cost about $7 each to prepare, McKenzieSullivan said. Federal funds pay about $2 and senior donations average about $1.75.
She expects a lot of seniors to show up for Pie Fest. In addition to the funding support, she’s looking forward to the pie.
“Sometimes I go with traditional apple with a French crumble top,” she said. “Sometimes you’re in the mood for what speaks to you — like peach caramel.”
Drop off two identical pies between 10-11:30 a.m. at the Olympia Center, 222 Columbia St. NW. Pies must be homemade — even the crusts — and cannot need refrigeration.
See more rules at www.olypie.org.