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A reason for the season

Members of the CK High School ASB, Leadership Class and student officers stand behind 10,000 pounds of food they collected for CK Food Bank. They started collecting early December and almost outdid what the entire district collected last year. - Photo by Kelly Everett
Members of the CK High School ASB, Leadership Class and student officers stand behind 10,000 pounds of food they collected for CK Food Bank. They started collecting early December and almost outdid what the entire district collected last year.
— image credit: Photo by Kelly Everett

Many food drives in the county are happy if they collect a few hundred pounds of food for the needy....

CK High collected five tons.

The entire school district only collected 11,000 pounds last year, said Associated Student Body (ASB) advisor, John Sitton.

“We usually collect about 2,500 pounds a year — but this is unbelievable!” he said, shaking his head as he surveyed the mountain of food in one of the schools’ storage rooms. “The kids have gone above and beyond.”

Food collecting for the needy was down at many Kitsap County food banks earlier this year. Yearly drives in September-November never really materialized, said Christine Bolinger, executive director of the CK Food Bank.

But people seem to be making up for lost time, she said.

CK Food Bank volunteers — about a dozen — have suddenly become very busy. The bank picked up CKHS’ 10,000 pounds yesterday, Friday, Dec. 20.

“The CKHS food drive was orchestrated by the ASB, Leadership Class and class officers,” said Sitton. “They started collecting Dec. 9.”

There was friendly competition between grades.

“Different grades used different methods,” he added. “Some went caroling door-to-door, many staffed phones, certain kids organized outside grocery stores.”

The students would hand out lists of foods to incoming shoppers, and hopefully get a bag or two when shoppers came out.

“This (CKHS) drive — and our drives every year — are part of the students’ leadership learning,” he said. “Sophomores, juniors and seniors participate. There’s a small added incentive — the grade that raises the most food wins money to go to the prom, plus there are other prizes.

“But they’re not doing it for the prizes,” said Sitton. “They’re following our motto this year to ‘Do ordinary things with extraordinary love.’”

Jill Lange, junior class advisor, commented that “The community has been so supportive as students went door-to-door.... And the supermarkets,” she added, “particularly Tim Garguile at Silverdale Market. He made an audio tape (and put on the store’s public address system) asking customers to purchase an extra can — sold ‘at cost’ — to donate. Plus he donated a lot of food from the market.”

Incoming cash donations of hundreds of dollars have also been turned into food at local markets, said advisors. And students’ parents participated as well.

Everyone worked together, she said. “It was a real network.”

Meanwhile, other schools are helping as well.

One of the Montessori Schools collected 200 pounds of food; Emerald Heights Elementary is donating an unspecified amount; Silver Ridge third-graders collected 300 pounds, Kitsap Transit collected 400 pounds; the Athletic Club on N.E. John Carlson Road donated food; the CK Kiwanis also donated; Klahowya Key Club is collecting food today; Subase Bangor has helped with food and money.

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