Message from the Director: The Changing Face of Need

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When Mildred called Fishline recently, it took all of her courage. In her 87 years in Poulsbo, she had hadn’t ever asked for help. Never rich but always able to make it, Mildred and her husband worked hard while raising their three children. In retirement, they had enough to cover the bills and put a littleaside. But Mildred’s husband passed away a couple of years ago,making it harder for her to pay for the house, the rising bills, prescriptions and food. Little by little, she dipped into her savings to pay the bills. She didn’t tell her children because, as she put it, “They already have so much on their minds, I didn’t want to worry them.” By the time she came to Fishline, her savings were gone and her phone, a lifeline for a homebound senior, was about to be disconnected. After learning about the ways we could help, she slept well that night, the first night in weeks.

Jim is another first-time recipient of food bank services. He had left his job and his home to come care for his terminally-ill mother. Not able to find work after a long job search, he was at the end of his resources. We were able to help him with veterinary care, clothes, gasoline, job referrals, a free cell phone and even told him about a program where he can volunteer in exchange for free dental services. He hoped that this first visitto Fishline would be his last and when he returned, it would be to give back.

Mildred and Jim are but two examples of the changing face of need in North Kitsap. No longer are food bank clients just those living on the margins of society, experiencing poverty because of poor choices, lack of work ethic or addiction issues. Today’s Fishline clients might be recently unemployed, often from high-paying and skilled jobs, trying hard to find work in a fiercely competitive climate. Others are working, sometimes 2 or 3 jobs, but finding it still isn’t enough. Examples abound of normal, everyday people facing extraordinary circumstances that test their resilience and their mettle. When they finally convince themselves to come to Fishline, imagine their relief when they are greeted like old friends, without a hint of pity or judgment.

Around 30% of new visitors to Fishline are coming to a food bank for the first time in their lives. Our initial meetings are often emotional , as anxious clients experience the wonderful gift of a listening, caring ear. Our clients are like you and me, trying to handle life’s turbulence with grace and independence, reluctant to ask for help yet knowing that, this time, they just can’t handle it alone.

Because of you, Fishline is able to help good people like Mildred and Jim. Through your contributions of concern, donations and time, you are building a stronger community, one in which all have the hope for a better day.



Sincerely,

Mary Nader, Executive Director

North Kitsap Fishline

director@fishline.org


New and Improved Front Market System, Thanks to Everyone!

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Just wanted to share this update on the new and improved front market system.  Staff, volunteers and clients agree this new way of food bank shopping is easier for our clients, less stressful and a better way of making sure our food stretch as far as it can.  Thanks to the innovative spirits and creativity of our volunteers, the market looks like a wonderful neighborhood grocery, complete with Central Market buggies and daily specials.  And, most inspiring to see, our clients shop with dignity, able to choose for items that they want while self-monitoring based on a budget.

It was a miraculous transformation to watch – each week, we got a little closer to the final product.  First, a doorway was built. Then a checkout station was constructed, a miracle of its own when you think about how little room we had to work with.  Then a new flow started to happen, immediately a relief to shoppers. Finally, a work party took place that added the final touches, including a refrigerator layout that included specials written on the doors, a “specials” neon board and price tags for all our items.  A generous sprinkling of “free” selections keeps food items moving through quickly and helps budgets stretch further.

When opening day came, a crowd of helpful volunteers gathered, making sure everything was neat, clean and well-marked then held their breath when the door opened at 10 am.  After all, even the best laid plans don’t account for every possibility, and we just didn’t know how it would all come together.  What came afterward will be remembered for a long time – an easy, happy day that passed without a hitch.  The relief amongst volunteers and clients alike was noticeable, a sign that this system might just work!

A change of this magnitude was only possible because of the amazing efforts of many, many
contributors.   There is no way we can thank everyone, because so many were involved, but we’ll give it
a shot anyway:

The Project Team Extraordinaire who, for months, met every week and sometimes in between to carve out this new process, study its implications and then implement it.  These folks gave this project their best and it shows in the beautiful and successful results:

 Staff: Gavin Watt, Lucy Baker and Mike Willmes
 Volunteers: Anne Alexander, Karen Calhoun, Sandy Fullerton, Carol Geissler, Katherine
Porter, Sharon Schmid, Helen Supancheck and Kee Webb

Facilities, including construction and computers:
 John Lewis built and installed our new shelving and the new checkout station.
 The Poulsbo Rotary donated the funds needed to buy our new 3-door cooler, set to be delivered
on 7/23.
 Greg Lasater, son of Board President Walt, donated his time in creating the doorway that leads
to the checkout station.
 Central Market and Albertsons donated the buggies our clients love to use.
 David Graves worked nights and weekends to get our computers set up and ready to be used as
checkout systems.
 Ken Craig, the programmer who developed our Client Card System, specially modified the
program to accommodate our Fish Bucks.
 Eric Watland of Advanced Electrical Design donated installation of electrical service for our new
refrigerator configurations.

Most especially, we want to thank each and every one of you who graciously adapted to the changes.  It takes longer and requires more effort to implement a new way, and you all just rolled up your sleeves and went to work with a great attitude.


Community Events, Week of July 23

News
Courtesy of the Knox Gardener

On Wednesday, July 25,  Suquamish Church of Christ will host a community dinner between 5-7pm.  This is a weekly event. All are welcome.  

On Thursday, July 26, First Lutheran Church in Poulsbo will host a community dinner between 5-6pm.  This is a weekly event.  All are welcome.  

On Thursday, July 26, join us for a seminar on learning how to deal with identity theft at Kitsap Community Resources, 1201 Park Ave., Bremerton:  Learn how to deal with identity theft – 5:30 to 7 pm. 


Also on Thursday, July 26, is the Kingston Community Church Dinner at the Kingston VFW.  This dinner will be from 5 to 6:30 and is a once a month event.  All are welcome. 
On Saturday, July 28, from 11:30 to 1pm Gateway Fellowship Church in Poulsbo will host a community lunch.  All are welcome!



Don’t forget — on Saturday, the Fishline van will be at Albertson’s in Poulsbo to collect food and clothing donations from 11am to 1pm.  This is a weekly event until October. 
Are you hosting an event that will benefit the needy members of our community?  Contact NK Fishline to add your event to our calendar!


Give a Student a Good Start Through Fishline’s School Supply Program

News

Each year, North Kitsap Fishline’s School Supply Program provides children in need with basic school supplies for the upcoming school year.

The cost of sending students back to school adds to family budgets that are already stretched thin and some are unable to purchase items needed for their children. We greatly appreciate your efforts in helping us meet our goals this year to provide school supplies for those children.

Fishline’s School Supply Program is accepting donations for the 2012 school year beginning now through Aug. 17. Donations can be dropped off at these local businesses:

— Second Seasons Thrift Shop 18825 Anderson Parkway.

— Starbucks, 19673 7th Ave. NE, Suite D.

— Starbucks, 21505 Market Place, NW, No. 101.

— Poulsbo Library, 700 NE Lincoln Road.

— Edward Jones, 19740 7th Ave. NE.

— Edward Jones, 18887 Highway 305 NE.

— Bank of America, 19255 Jensen Way NE.

— Poulsbo City Hall, 200 NE Moe St.

— Curves of Poulsbo, 19351 8th Ave. NE, Suite 101.

School supply drives or any large quantity donations should arrange a drop-off day and time with Kathy Smith, volunteer school supply coordinator. Call (360) 598-6282 to make arrangements.

Supplies that are needed: backpacks, college-rule and wide-rule loose-leaf and spiral paper, pencil pouches, supply boxes, pens, pencils, glue sticks, pink erasers, washable color markers, colored pencils, child scissors, college-rule and wide rule spiral notebook paper, pocket folders, and metal edged rulers.

Original post by Kathy Smith, Poulsbo, North Kitsap Herald

Both Office Depot & Office Max are having great school supply sales right now. Check out these links at Queen Bee Coupons and Thrifty & Thriving.

 


11 Facts About Hunger in the United States

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Photo:  DoSomething.org, Feed-America

  1. In 2010, 17.2 million households, (1 in 7) were food insecure, the highest number ever recorded in the U.S.
  2. More than 16 million (almost 1 in 5) American children are at risk of hunger.
  3. Households with children experience food insecurity at almost double the rate of households without children.
  4. Nearly 1 in 5 children in the U.S. is served by Feeding America, the nation’s largest food bank.
  5. Five states or districts with the highest rate of food insecure children are Arizona, Arkansas, Oregon, Texas and Washington, D.C.
  6. America’s Second Harvest annually provides food to over 23 million people. That is more than the population of the state of Texas.
  7. The USDA recently found that about 96 billion pounds of food available for human consumption in the United States were thrown away by retailers, restaurants, farmers and households over the course of one year.
  8. Hungry adults miss more work and consume more health care than those who don’t go hungry.
  9. Kids who experience hunger are more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other illnesses.
  10. The total cost of hunger to American society is said to be about $90 billion a year.
  11. In contrast, it would only cost about $10 billion to $12 billion a year to virtually end hunger in our nation.
Source:  DoSomething.org