Fishline has served North Kitsap since its founding in 1967, making it one of the oldest food banks in the United States.
A combined effort of First Lutheran, St. Charles Episcopal, and St. Olaf’s Catholic Parishes initially established Fishline Food Bank. Volunteers from many local churches in North Kitsap collaborated on its organization and facilitation. Barbara Stuart, our first Executive Director, expanded Fishline’s purview to include an emergency services approach.
Over the past fifty years, our services and thrift store have resided in several different locations throughout Poulsbo including Spartsum Buttik (“The Savings Place” in Norwegian), Jensen Way, Third Avenue, at the waterfront, and downtown. After Fishline purchased the property on Viking Way in 2014, Board members initiated a capital campaign to erect a new building with a market style store and Comprehensive Services Center. The project was completed and opened in 2018.
This same location houses our Food Bank and Comprehensive Services Center. In the building, we currently have several numerous agencies (Kitsap Community Resources, Peninsula Community Health Services Dental, Housing and Essential Needs, Sound Works Job Center, the National Alliance on Mental Health, and the American Legion) that provide services to our clients. “Second Season” is situated at Poulsbo Village, a prominent commercial shopping center, directly off Hwy 305.
When COVID-19 struck the Poulsbo community in 2020, Fishline adapted its protocols to ensure safety for its clients, staff, and volunteers. We closed the market to the public, implemented a drive-through model for food pickup, and erected tents so clients could choose preferred produce, snacks, and sweets. We limited the number of people in Second Season and gave out cell phones and bus passes to clients so they could meet with case managers remotely. In 2022 we reopened our service center in the “new normal.”
Fishline has received recognition for excellence and innovation in its services since its inception. Awards include two Food Lifeline Excellence in Client Services Awards (one for its Food for Thought youth food program and the other for its Fishbuck’s system and market design), and a reader’s choice Best of West Sound Magazine Award in 2021. We have also won the Innovative Farming award through the WSDA and numerous Best of the Best Awards through Sound Publishing. We have also been a grateful beneficiary of several grantors including, but not limited to The Medina Foundation, Bainbridge Community Foundation, the Boand Foundation, the Housing and Homeless Grant Program, The Mental Health Chemical Dependency Treatment Court Program, Poulsbo and Bainbridge Rotaries, Community Development Block Grants, Port Gamble S’Klallam tribe, The Suquamish Appendix X, Puget Sound Energy, Quail Roost, Walmart Community Foundation, and the Windermere Foundation.
Fishline was initially established through a combined effort of First Lutheran, St. Charles Episcopal and St. Olaf’s Catholic Parish and was run by volunteers from many local churches. Barbara Stuart, our first Executive Director worked with Fishline for 34 years! It was her visionary leadership that created our comprehensive services approach. Upon her retirement a client noted “She brightened everyone’s day and she blessed so many people with her wonderful smile and her willingness to help.”
Our first building was Spartsum Buttik (“The Savings Place” in Norwegian) on Jensen Way. In the early 90’s, Fishline moved to Third Avenue, where our food bank and thrift store shared space.
In 2009 the thrift shop moved downtown and was renamed “Second Season.” The food bank expanded to utilize the entire Third Avenue building. The thrift store is now located in Poulsbo Village, a prominent commercial shopping center directly off Hwy 305.
In 2014, Fishline purchased our new location on Viking Way to relocate all of our food services. We are currently using a market-style facility in a converted warehouse building as we prepare to construct our permanent Healthy Foods Market.
With the move of food services to Viking Way, the Third Avenue building became the new Second Season Home Store, which sells furniture and tools donated by the community. The move proved highly impactful for both parts of the organization, with Second Season Thrift Store doubling its income since the move and the Food Bank doubling its client participation.
Fishline has received recognition for excellence and innovation in its services. In 2009, our Food for Thought youth food program received the Food Lifeline Excellence in Client Services award, a prestigious industry award that considers programs from food banks throughout Washington State and awards the most innovative and impactful. Most recently in 2013, Fishline received a second Food Lifeline Excellence in Client Services award for its Fishbucks system and market design.