Jennifer Hardison, executive director of South Kitsap Helpline, gives a tour of the new food bank’s new layout. (Bob Smith | Kitsap Daily News)

Jennifer Hardison, executive director of South Kitsap Helpline, gives a tour of the new food bank’s new layout. (Bob Smith | Kitsap Daily News)

SK Helpline makes it easier to get food items

… and to donate monthly

PORT ORCHARD — South Kitsap Helpline Food Bank is a busy place year-round. It’s so busy, in fact, that last year more than 1.3 million pounds of food was distributed to local individuals and families in crisis.

Jennifer Hardison, executive director of the nonprofit organization, said that during its operating hours of noon to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, the food bank serves between 50 and 80 households with much-needed groceries and other supplies. And sometimes during the summer, Hardison said the agency assists more than 100 households.

In order to keep the food bank operating smoothly, Hardison said her team of associates and volunteers revamped how it now operates.

“We decided to change to a self-serve food bank in the spring of 2018 because we feel it is so important that our clients have more choice,” Hardison said.

For clients who need assistance and like beef vegetable soup, while they might appreciate receiving chicken noodle, they’d be happier being able to take some cans of beef vegetable instead if it’s available. Instead of having food items handed over to a client in a bag, they instead can do their own shopping, supermarket style.

“It’s about dignity, kindness and much less food going to waste because people can actually take what they want and need,” she noted. “It’s just a win-win all the way around. Our clients seem to be so pleased with the changes.”

Hardison said that Helpline is in the process of launching a program called “Five to Feed,” which would provide the organization more consistent support throughout the year. The program’s intent is to have people pledge $5 a month to the organization and persuade five friends to do the same.

“Our nonprofit agency receives a lot of support over the months of November and December but the other 10 months are pretty ‘slim-picking,’” the executive director said. “We’d love to be able to expand the support our agency receives so we are able to cover the necessary costs to allow us to help even more people in our community.

“When the food bank’s freezer compressor goes out like it did last week, you can’t pay the bill with day-old donuts! It’s got to be fixed for us to operate effectively. Consistent financial support is critical to our success as a community safety net organization — and it is needed every month.”

Prospective donors wishing to make monthly donations to South Kitsap Helpline can do so by accessing the agency’s website at www.skhelpline.org/give/. Follow the online directions to set up monthly donations to the organization.

Non-perishable food item donations are always accepted by the South Kitsap Helpline Food Bank.

Non-perishable food item donations are always accepted by the South Kitsap Helpline Food Bank.

More in News

A little parade watcher exchanges a wave with a princess on a float. (Bob Smith | Kitsap News Group)
Summer weather returns just in time for Fathoms parade

Absent for two straight summers, parade watchers soak in the fun and sun

.
Toddler survives fentanyl overdose; mom arrested

Poulsbo child, 2, is alert; long-term effects unknown

The Planned Parenthood clinic in Bremerton. Courtesy Photo
Bremerton Planned Parenthood vows to provide access

Roe v. Wade overturned by US Supreme Court

The Timber Run sign inside the apartment property. Elisha Meyer/Port Orchard Independent Photos
Rent hike could leave some homeless

Some residents at a Port Orchard apartment complex are scrambling to find… Continue reading

.
All events back on for Kingston 4th of July

Parade at noon; fireworks at 10 p.m.

A map of the North Kitsap region where many trail segments are being considered for the North Sound to Olympics Trail. Courtesy Graphic
Planning discussed for North Sound to Olympics Trail

Kitsap County Public Works held an open house Wednesday at the Village… Continue reading

.
Turning 105 is no big deal for Mary DeLaGrange

Port Orchard birthday girl just wants her family to enjoy some cake

Animal Emergency & Specialty Center has expanded its services and is now located at College Marketplace in Poulsbo. Courtesy Photo
Poulsbo animal hospital moves, expands services

Animal Emergency & Specialty Center, formerly known as Animal Emergency & Trauma… Continue reading

The donated concrete floats were towed to the Port of Poulsbo for complete refurbishment and reuse in the new floating breakwater. Courtesy Photo
Construction of new Poulsbo breakwater begins

Will be ready for public by next year

Most Read