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CK Food Bank restocking for Christmas

Last Thursday afternoon, longtime Central Kitsap Food Bank volunteer Beverly Benlein was looking for food items to fill bags for needy residents of Central Kitsap. She was assisted by Pastor Bill Bolinger who was  packing items into bags. Bolinger is the husband of the CK Food Bank’s Executive Director Christine Bolinger. - Photo by Jesse Beals
Last Thursday afternoon, longtime Central Kitsap Food Bank volunteer Beverly Benlein was looking for food items to fill bags for needy residents of Central Kitsap. She was assisted by Pastor Bill Bolinger who was packing items into bags. Bolinger is the husband of the CK Food Bank’s Executive Director Christine Bolinger.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

When 2003 ends, the Central Kitsap Food bank will have fed 19,000 people, a 25 percent increase from last year.

“So far, so good,” said Christine Bolinger, the food bank’s executive director on the condition of food bank shelves. “The donations are trickling in,” she said.

The Central Kitsap Kiwanis recently brought in 1,900 pounds of food, but don’t think the phrase “enough food” is part of Bolinger’s vocabulary. It doesn’t exist.

The food bank is preparing its Christmas meal boxes to be distributed Dec. 22-23. Bolinger hopes to furnish each one with a ham and all of the trimmings. They need small hams of about two pounds each to round out the supply.

“Ham is really a treat, they’re hard to come by,” Bolinger said Monday morning. The food bank lacks olives as well.

“It’s not Christmas without little kids with olives on their fingers,” Bolinger said.

Behind her at the CK Food Bank between CK HIgh School and CK Junior High School, volunteers scan shelves, select the items and pack them for people to take home. Every 30 days people can receive a week’s worth of food, no less than 20 pounds per person.

“If they’re hungry, we’re going to feed them,” the first time they walk in the door, Bolinger said.

After that, the person is asked to provide more information.

About 54 percent of the people the food bank serves are children. The other half are working poor, a small percentage of senior citizens and military.

The CK Food Bank distributed about 1,100 Thanksgiving dinners and Bolinger expects that number to go up about 10 percent for Christmas.

“A lot of them have never been to a food bank in their life,” Bolinger said.

Along with food items the food bank is also in need of cash. For 11 cents a pound it can purchase food from Food Lifeline in Shoreline. For $28 the CK Food Bank can buy 350 pounds of food.

The food bank is located at 3790 Anderson Hill Road and is open 10 a.m.- 1:30 p.m. weekdays. For more information, call (360) 692-9818.

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