Fishline raising funds to feed the masses

a woman helps herself to groceries at the fishline food bank.  - Courtesy Photo
a woman helps herself to groceries at the fishline food bank.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

POULSBO — Like spring, North Kitsap Fishline’s Donation Drive only happens once a year. Without a fundraising event, Fishline — a food bank that assist people who live with in the North Kitsap School District — relies heavily on word of mouth and mailings to reach their ambitious goal of $50,000 in cash donations and 30,000 pounds of food by the end of April.

Even with a late start and time running out, Karen Timken, director for the North Kitsap Fishline, believes the need will be met.

“I really believe in the North Kitsap community. They always come through for us and I believe they won’t let us down this time.”

During the months of March and April, Fishline is paired up with The Feinstein Foundation to hold a community-wide spring donation and food drive. The Feinstein Foundation is a Rhode Island-based organization that works to alleviate hunger.

“The Feinstein Foundation will provide additional grant money for every pound of food or dollar donated,” Timken said. Donations made during the fund drive maximize the amount of money and food Fishline will receive for the year, she said.

Timken encourages people to donate money instead of food during this donation drive.

“We can turn $50 into $70 by using our buying power,” she said.

Letters are mailed out to regular donors while word of mouth also helps publicize the fundraising efforts.

“We hope that people that know about it will tell other people. We hope those who haven’t donated before will choose to donate now. Big or small, it all helps,” Timken said.

Even those who are in need of help feel compelled to donate.

“I had a homeless man donate $3,” she said.

This year they have already served 13,514 meals, many to children and senior citizens.

“These are our friends and neighbors, not faceless statistics,” Timken said. “Some people who previously donated regularly are now coming to us for help.”

Donations provide not only food, but also emergency assistance for rent, utilities and medical co-pays. The food bank’s recently relocated thrift shop provides clothing and household items during a crisis.

Timken has seen an increase in need as the rising unemployment rate has affected North Kitsap.

“We don’t have to turn people away now, and that’s because of the community,” she said.

Monetary donations are accepted through the mail and online at the Fishline’s Web site through PayPal.

Food and monetary donations are accepted in person at the the food bank, located at 18916 Third Ave., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; and 10 a.m. to 7p.m Wednesday; and the Second Season thrift shop, at 18825 Anderson Parkway, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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