Kiwanis digs deep to support food banks

  • Monday, April 27, 2020 1:17pm
  • Opinion

When the scheduled April 18 Kiwanis food drive had to be canceled in order to reduce exposure for Kiwanis members to COVID-19, members recognized the damage caused to local food banks. According to food drive chairman, Jim Repnik, a typical Kiwanis food drive brings in approximately $5,000 in food for the food banks. That contribution would be missing by cancelling the Spring Food Drive. At a time when food banks are experiencing an increase in demand, Kiwanis couldn’t let them down. That is when the 31 Kingston Kiwanis members dug deep into their pockets to personally raise the money that was missing as a result of the canceled food drive.

Treasurer Dahlia Malin reported that members donated $5,000 to the food banks in April. “This is what Kiwanis is about,” explained President Jan Erickson. “Our mission is to serve those in our community who are in greatest need. Helping the food banks with their immediate emergency was a way we could contribute even though we couldn’t stand out on the grocery store sidewalks.” It is expected that the club will be examining its budget closely in the coming months to see what other assistance it can provide.

One project it has already supported is Food4Kids. With school out for the year, all of the students who depended on the school USDA food program are in need. Thankfully, the North Kitsap School District has been able to provide food pick-up for some families and other community restaurants and private citizens have contributed free food for children.

Food4Kids provided 90 Greater Kingston area children with a week’s worth of breakfasts and lunches. Kingston Kiwanis provided $3,500 towards that effort as well as volunteer packers and food delivery. According to Food4Kids chair Penny Geisbush, it takes approximately that amount to feed 100 children for a week.

As summer approaches, the Food4Kids program will be a vital life line for children. Because schools are not in session and there will be no summer school program, Food4Kids is hoping to provide eleven weeks of food for 100 children. At $5.00 per day per child, the program will need over $38,500 to meet summer needs. Unfortunately, there is not currently that much in the Kingston Cares account. So, like the Kingston Kiwanis, it is hoped that the community will dig into its pockets to help support the Food4Kids Program. Persons wishing to support this effort may contribute to Kingston Cares, P.O. Box 870,, Kingston, WA 98346.

In other news, it does look like the annual Kiwanis Blueberry Sales may go on, with special attention to safe handling of the berries, online or snail mail ordering and socially distanced delivery in mid- to late July. Check out the Kingston Kiwanis website for details at

This is a difficult time for people all over the world. Staying safe and keeping our loved ones safe is understandably the top priority. But because Kingston is a special place filled with people who care about the community, the coronavirus pandemic affords us the opportunity to put the importance of children and families into perspective. The needs of the whole are seen to out-weigh the needs to acquire wealth and materials. We can be proud of the work of the Kingston Kiwanis and all the businesses and individuals in Kingston who are making a difference in these difficult times. Thank you to all and keep practicing those safe behaviors.

More in Opinion

Brunell: Green New Deal incomplete

Our environmental quality strategy must be encompassing and not just focus on… Continue reading

Editor’s note: A community bids farewell to its top firefighter

… and welcomes a veteran to a new role at SKFR

Finally Congress agrees to fund fixes in national parks

America desperately needed some positive news and a reprieve from the coronavirus… Continue reading

Please support Local Journalism Sustainability Act

It provides tax incentives for advertisers, subscribers for 5 years

How trees talk to each other

How much do you understand those old familiar trees you enjoy each… Continue reading

Kiwanis 2020 Scholarship awardees announced

Meeting via Zoom, the Greater Kingston Kiwanis Club is still managing to… Continue reading

The pressure is mounting for Washington State Ferries

When we finally leap into our summer ferry schedule we’ll be landing… Continue reading

Is there any good news?

Kitsap, Naturally

Port Gamble gears up for summer amid a new normal

Traditionally, summertime in Port Gamble means big festivals like June Faire and… Continue reading

Unemployment payments provide necessary cushion for jobless Americans

America’s unemployment rate is suddenly approaching historic levels. Since the COVID-19 pandemic… Continue reading

Don C. Brunell
Apples, potatoes key to post-coronavirus recovery

Our state is blessed with some of the most creative people and… Continue reading

Realty in the time of COVID-19

Dear Jan: We are ready to list our home. Will the coronavirus… Continue reading