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North End food banks hoping to ‘get stuffed’

KINGSTON — It’s the time of year when area food banks are hit the hardest with requests for donations. And as two of the year’s biggest holidays are coming upon them, North Kitsap again won’t be dodging the blow.

To get through Thanksgiving Day, Kingston Food Bank and ShareNet Food Bank are taking financial and food donations until Nov. 19 for their annual food baskets.

Kingston Food Bank director Vi Weaver said her supplies are very low and the bank could use donations of “everything,” such as stuffing mixes, pie mixes, cranberry sauce and, of course, the traditional bird.

“We have no turkeys, things like that, we don’t have,” she said. “We can pretty much use just about everything.”

The organization is taking donations from noon to 3 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the Veterans of Foreign War Hall on West First Street, where the food bank is located. Clients for food baskets can also sign up at that time by calling or visiting the food bank. Baskets will be distributed Nov. 19 through Nov. 25.

ShareNet Food Bank, down the street behind Bayside Community Church, is also in need of assistance.

Financial and food donations can be dropped off at the food bank from 9:30 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and Fridays. Clients can also sign up for baskets during this time. Baskets will be distributed from 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 23. So far, 60 clients have signed up for the Thanksgiving Day baskets, ShareNet director Kim Planck said. She expects to distribute between 100 and 120 baskets this year.

For the November holiday, Planck is looking for essentially two things — cash donations and food donations, which should include all the holiday trimmings for a Thanksgiving dinner, plus fresh produce and hardy vegetables, such as apples, potatoes, carrots and onions. The cash will be used to purchase other fresh products.

“(Financial donations) will be nice because then I can go buy the Cool Whip, butter and eggs in advance,” she said. “We try to make sure we have everything they need.”

This year has been very busy for the food banks, resulting in emptier shelves than usual, Planck said.

“We’ve just been extremely busy,” Planck added, noting that the number of people who utilize food banks has been higher than normal lately.

And when Thanksgiving is over with, both organizations will be gearing up again to prepare for Christmas and will be taking donations for Christmas baskets through Dec. 17.

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