Wednesday, May 21, 2014

FLASH FOOD DRIVE: Help us reach our goal of 5,000 lbs of food by June 15th!

On the Saturday before Mother’s Day each year, area food banks anticipate the Stamp Out Hunger food drive as its primary way to fill the shelves for the long summer of need.

This year, the Stamp Out Hunger bags that typically go with the cards into your mailbox, and serve as a great reminder to give, were not delivered as planned. Our Post Office did not receive the bags for distribution and couldn’t resolve the problem in time for the food drive.
The result was a staggering drop in donations from previous years. Though the numbers are not in yet, we expect that we will have received only about 30 percent of last year’s drive totals.

Entering into this time of year without the food support that we anticipated is worrisome and can mean that Fishline will run out of food in June instead of August or September.

We hope that we can rally the support of our community and find a way to replace the donations that were missed during this important drive. If you normally donate during Stamp Out Hunger and did not have the opportunity this past weekend, please fill a bag to help feed a family now.  You can drop off your bags at our new location at 787 Liberty Lane NW (off Viking Avenue) or at any of our dropboxes throughout town, including the ones at Central Market, Albertsons and Red Apple. 

Help us reach our goal of 5,000 pounds of food donations by June 15.
Our community has always made sure that we have enough to serve the neighbors who most need our help, and we know that this year will be no exception. Thank you to all those who donated during Stamp Out Hunger and to all those who will help us out this summer.

Mary Nader 
Executive Director, North Kitsap Fishline

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Fishline Opens at New Location

Fishline customer Allen Alexander, of Poulsbo, shops for produce Tuesday. Photo by:  Larry Steagall

POULSBO — North Kitsap Fishline nearly doubled in size Tuesday morning when it opened the doors to its new Poulsbo location. The nonprofit, which provides food, housing assistance and other resources to community members in need, is now in the 5,500-square-foot building on Liberty Lane that once housed Poulsbo RV. The old location, along a one-way section of Third Avenue, was 3,100 square feet, according to Executive Director Mary Nader. The shopping market area for clients is three times bigger, going from 400 square feet to 1,200 square feet.

Before its 10 a.m. opening Tuesday, volunteers helped unload food trucks as the sun shined through windows from the bay doors brightening the market and nearby storage areas. While clients and volunteers rave about the building space and its cheery feel, clients are especially happy with the available parking. The old location had six parking spots, while the new site has at least 60 with room for loading trucks. “The parking is a big thing and the bathrooms for the little kids,” said Allen Alexander, a Fishline client. The Third Avenue location did not have a public restroom, but the new building has a restroom in the front lobby for clients as well as a second one for staff and volunteers.

Alexander, who volunteered at local food banks decades ago, now is retired and struggles to make his fixed Social Security income meet his basic needs, like many retirees, he said. He praised Fishline and its volunteers for making the smaller site, where it had been since 1999, work so well.

“We were really squeezed in before. We just worked around it together,” Alexander said.
Since 2008, Fishline has seen demand for services double, causing its former location to feel a little smaller each year. It serves about 130 families a day, distributing between 5,000 and 7,000 pounds of food.

“You were knocking into each other. It wasn’t (Fishline’s) fault. It was just so tiny,” said Nancy Satterlee, another Fishline client. “I think people are happier now.”

Nader acknowledged the physical limitations of the old site, which prompted the nonprofit’s move, she said.

It wasn’t just the market that was cramped. Office space was limited, and there was no place to meet privately with clients, Nader said. Food preparation areas were tight. Walkways were limited to one person at a time. Food had to be stored off-site at three locations and volunteers had to toss bags of potatoes and wheel boxes of onions out of the way before a staff meeting could take place.
Now, Fishline has administrative office space as well as meeting space for staff and clients.
The nonprofit also will be able to offer clients a resource center with computer and Internet access, Nader said.

This article was originally posted on Kitsap Sun. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

NK Fishline's Great Move is Complete, Now for the Kitsap Great Give

On Tuesday, May 6th NK Fishline will open it's doors to serve our clients for the first time at 787 NW Liberty Lane in Poulsbo.  The GREAT MOVE is complete, but there is still work to be done!From 12:00am to 11:59pm PST, on May 6th, we will be participating in the Kitsap Great Give. All donations made to NK Fishline during this event will be matched by a local matching pool, organized by Kitsap Community Foundation and a national matching pool, organized by Give Local America. This is a great way to make your donation to NK Fishline stretch even further!

Here's how to donate:
-Set a reminder on your calendar that says "Give to NK Fishline during the Kitsap Great Give, May 6th"

-On May 6th, starting at 12am until 11:59pm PST visit our Kitsap Great Give donation site by CLICKING HERE or copying and pasting the following link into your browser:
-Follow the prompts to donate!
*There are incentive prizes awarded to non-profit groups throughout the day, such as a $1000 prize for the group that receives the most donations before 9am!
Just some of the many reasons to give to NK Fishline:
  • Donations to Fishline come from the entire community, 74% come from individual donors.
  • 96% of donations go directly to client care. 
  • With the help of over 225 volunteers, NK Fishline untilizes these donations to distribute and provide much needed services to help stablize families. 
  • Since 1999, the year we moved to our 3rd Ave location, the number of household visits to NK Fishline has risen steadily.  In 2007, when the US recession began, that number tripled.  In 2013, we had 120 household visits per day.
In 2013:
  • 2, 078, 928 meals were distributed
  • 348 families received housing assistance
  • 306 households benefited from our support services