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Holiday needs are in full swing at Fishline

POULSBO — When Fishline Executive Director Tricia Sullivan says the holidays are coming fast, it’s with a twinge of trepidation rather than a smile.

But of course, anyone might feel the same if they had the task of ensuring 300 North Kitsap families have a happy holidays.

Fishline Food Bank, which serves families across the North Kitsap School District, is once again seeking donors willing to help Sullivan in this task. Sign ups are now underway for both requesting and supplying Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner baskets. The baskets include everything for a family to have a traditional holiday meal such as stuffing, potatoes, rolls, dessert and, of course, a ham or turkey. Fishline is expecting a total of 600 families to request this service this year — 300 each for Thanksgiving and Christmas. This was essentially the same estimate as last year, however, Sullivan said the need in North Kitsap has been greater this year.

“For the whole year, we’ve had about a 10 percent increase in services across the board,” she said.

Despite needs that continue to rise, Sullivan was happy to report last week that regular food supplies were in good shape. After making it through the traditionally lean summer months at the food bank, Fishline’s shelves are once again filling with staples that are coming in from drives at local schools, businesses and churches.

“We have started to have community food drives come in, which is really good,” Sullivan said. “We’re doing well and keeping up with the need.”

So right now, the food bank is focusing its efforts on the expected needs for the holiday season. Those interested in sponsoring a family for either Thanksgiving or Christmas need only call Fishline to be matched with a family and given a shopping list. Sometime before the holiday, the donor buys the basket fixings and then gets in touch with the family to arrange a drop off time and place.

Any dinner baskets not sponsored by community members will be supplied by Fishline. Those who would like to contribute but not furnish an entire food basket can always donate individual items for the dinners. Items needed include stuffing mix, potatoes, cranberries, pies and frozen turkeys or frozen hams.

“But any financial contribution is tax-deductible and enables us to buy food wholesale and to get perishable food we can’t accept as donations such as eggs, meat and butter,” Sullivan added.

Fishline will also be offering its annual Toy Shop for local families this Christmas season. The event allows parents in need the opportunity to come in and choose items to put under the tree for each of their children free of charge. Donations of new, unwrapped toys are now needed for all ages.

Every year, there is a special need for gifts appropriate for ages 10-13 such as sweatshirts, T-shirts, baseball hats, gift certificates and movie passes.

“We’re always short in that area,” Sullivan said. “It’s one that people tend to forget.”

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