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A sensible way to shed the pounds

Temptations lurk around every pantry door for dieters.

What better way to eliminate those temptations than to give the food away?

Take Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS #WA276) of Silverdale donated more than 6,000 pounds of food to the Central Kitsap Food Bank between 2003 and February 2007.

“We originally came up with the idea in 2003,” said Terry Landreth, TOPS leader. “We had tried to figure out what we could do for the community to do some good.”

TOPS members meet every Monday at the Olympic View Assembly of God Church on Silverdale Way. Food donations are collected and a club member delivers the goods to the Central Kitsap Food Bank.

“Our original goal was to collect 1,000 pounds a year,” Landreth said. “We collected 1,491 pounds last year alone.”

TOPS has collected almost 600 pounds of food so far this year, according to Landreth, and members hope to donate 2,000 pounds of food this year.

Hoyt Burrows, executive director of the Central Kitsap Food Bank, thinks it is “absolutely fantastic” that the TOPS club donates regularly to the food bank.

“It helps us continue to maintain the assistance we can provide to give nutritious food to those in need,” Burrows said.

The Central Kitsap Food Bank gives away 25,000 to 30,000 pounds of food a month, according to Burrows.

“TOPS continues to be a good supporter for the food bank,” Burrows said. “They have been one of the real steady donors over the years.”

TOPS is a support group for people trying to lose weight. The Silverdale club has about 30 members from various areas. Membership dues are $5 a month and go toward paperwork fees and renting the church for the weekly meetings. Members pay an annual fee of $24 to the national club based in Milwaukee.

“There are no diets or anything,” Landreth said. “We just keep praising everybody for what they do, we’re a support group.”

Since joining the group in 2002, Landreth, an Illahee resident, has lost about 70 pounds.

“We are not a religious group, but a caring group,” Landreth said. “We’re out there to help each other.”

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