How to Have A Successful Food Drive!


NK Fishline is very grateful when a business decides to hold a food drive.  Thanks to the efforts of businesses and organizations in our area, we can provide nourishment to hundreds of area families in their time of need.

Here are some answers to some frequently asked questions about holding a food drive. These answers can help you hold a successful event:

What is the best time to hold a food drive?

We are glad for food donations any time. Our inventory of food tends to get low from March through April and again late in the summer.

What items are most needed by Fishline?

Canned goods, boxed meals, peanut butter, spaghetti sauce are all popular and needed provisions for our clients. But we also accept fresh fruits and vegetables, so if you have an abundance of zucchini or apples from your garden, bring them to us – we’d love to offer them to our clients.  Click here for a list of our most needed items. 

(If you would like a bookmark-sized list you can hand out to neighbors in preparation for the food drive, email and we’ll send it to you.)

What items cannot be accepted by Fishline?

We are not allowed to accept anything that has been opened. As well, we cannot take home-made items. But if food items are recently expired, we still may be able to accept and distribute them depending on the type of food, so go ahead and include them and we’ll dispose of them if they can’t be used.

Should we let Fishline know of the drive before it happens?

We are always glad to know of these events in advance, because we want to collaborate with you in assuring its success. Please use this handy form when coordinating a food drive with NK Fishline:  Food Drive Form. 

We can:

 Assist you in planning based on our experience over the years
 Provide printed materials for your use, including our logo, banners and signs
 Advertise your event on our web site, social media and newsletter
 Provide barrels for your use
 Arrange pickup of the food if you can’t deliver it.

Often, food drives are meant to encourage general donations of non-perishables. But don’t feel limited by this—you can try different ways of gathering donations that help specific groups of people.

For instance:

  • Hold a drive to collect items needed for our Food for Thought Program.  
  • Pet food/treats drive
  • Packs of individually wrapped items that can be distributed to homeless clients.
  • Toiletries and other essentials needed for families living in shelters.
  • Fresh items from your neighborhood gardens donated during the summer and early fall.
Food drives can be a great team building activity for your business, organization, or community group.  Above all, work together and have fun! 

Food for Thought Shopping List


Use the Handy Shopping List Below When Collecting Items for the Food for Thought Program.  All must be individual single servings, must be microwave or pop-top.


o Swiss Miss
o Juice Box (100% Juice)
o Easy Mac
o Cereal box — single serving size
o Cup o’ Noodle
o Chicken (pre-prepared single meals w/ crackers)
o Chef Boyardee


o Cracker sandwiches — cheese or peanut butter
o Fruit Snacks
o Raisin Box
o Pudding Cup
o Applesauce Cups
o Granola Bars (Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter)
o Pop Tarts
o Trail Mix, Individual Pack

Shopping Guide of Most Needed Items


Use this handy shopping guide when deciding what to donate to NK Fishline or when preparing for a food drive:

Most Needed Items

o Canned Fruits (peaches and pears)
o Canned Soups
o Canned Vegetables
o Peanut Butter
o Boxed Meals (Augratin potatoes, Hamburger Helper, etc.)
o Diapers (Sizes 4, 5, 6)
o Pork and beans

Other Often Needed Items

o Refried Beans
o Boxed Cereal
o Jams/Jellies
o Ramen Noodles
o Evaporated Milk
o Tomato/Spaghetti Sauce
o Tuna
o Mayonnaise
o Vegetable oil
o Coffee
o Tea
o Mayonnaise
o Vegetable oil
o Coffee
o Tea
o Ketchup
o Mustard
o Instant Hot Chocolate

Community Events, Week of September 17

Image source:  Wikipedia

Tonight, September 18 — Kitsap Community Resources presents “The Psychology of Spending” — Learn the hidden influences on spending and how to have a healthy approach by learning from Kitsap Credit Union presenters, 5:30 to 7 pm.  Note that this will be at the new South Kitsap Site, 3200 SE Rainshadow Crt, Port Orchard, WA.

On Wednesday, September 19Suquamish Church of Christ will host a community dinner between 5-7pm. This is a weekly event. All are welcome. 

On Thursday, September 20, First Lutheran Church in Poulsbo will host a community dinner between 5-6pm. This is a weekly event. All are welcome. 

On Saturday, September 22, Gateway Fellowship Church in Poulsbo will also host a community lunch, from 11:30 to 1pm. This is a weekly event and all are welcome. 

This weekend, September 22 & 23, North Kitsap Soccer will be hosting their annual food drive at each of their game locations throughout the day. Bins for food donation will be available at Strawberry Field, North Kitsap HS Stadium, Kingston Middle School, and Wolfe Elementary.  

Donation Station: 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.  

Planning ahead:  Richard Lemieux, the author of Breakfast at Sally’s will be the main speaker at Breakfast with Fishline on October 6, 9 to 10:30am at the Gateway Fellowship Hall, Gateway Church in Poulsbo.  In addition, former clients of Fishline will also talk about their experiences with Fishline services.  A modest breakfast will be provided.

Tickets available NOW at Fishline, Second Season, or Marina Market. 
$20 – General Admission
$10 – Seniors and Students
$ 5 – Fishline Clients

Read more on this event here. 
Contact NK Fishline to add your event to our calendar! Want to plan ahead? Visit our website to review the events calendar.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors: In Her Own Words


The economy hit a major low, and I was feeling depressed about how it was affecting so many people, myself included. That’s when I remembered my parents saying “Don’t think about yourself, serve others and you’ll feel better in no time.” That statement is so true, and I became a North Kitsap Fishline food bank volunteer. 

I work as a volunteer sorting produce and placing the chosen produce in the market for our clients. As a produce sorter, we are trained to present the best possible products to our clients on a daily basis. We also fill the request for emergency boxes, that include various items clients receive once each month. 

Being a volunteer has been most rewarding. I work with a group of wonderful people who spend their time at Fishline filled with laughter and work. Working with these ladies weekly creates a strong and positive environment that seems to keep all of us coming back. This is the feeling all the volunteers and staff generate. 

Fishline is truly “Neighbors Helping Neighbors”. When I am through volunteering for the day, I feel truly thankful and grateful for all the fine, hard-working people who make up this organization and the opportunity to participate.

Written by Carmen Hassold, Tuesday Volunteer

Are you interested in becoming a volunteer? Click here to visit our online application or email our volunteer coordinator.