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CK Food Bank still trying to meet needs

The rising cost of groceries and fewer donations than last year are putting the Central Kitsap Food Bank in a bit of a pinch this year.

So far, there are 350 families in the food bank’s service area that have asked for help with Thanksgiving dinner, said Christine Bolinger, CK Food Bank director. The CK Food Bank helps those who live within the Central Kitsap School District’s boundaries.

“Donations are down pretty bad,” Bolinger said. “Schools just haven’t had food drives this year. We usually have an influx, but it’s not been very heavy this year. I hope it’s going to pick up.”

The food bank relies heavily on financial donations to meet the Christmas need, she said.

The cost of Thanksgiving turkeys is 82 cents a pound this year, compared to last year’s 74 cents a pound.

“When you buy 4,000 pounds of turkey, that’s a pretty good chunk of change,” Bolinger said. The food bank tried to get some hams, too, but they were too expensive. For the smaller families who don’t need a medium or large turkey, the food bank supplies whole-bodied chickens, which are 52 cents a pound.

So far, the monetary donations are down about $6,000 in comparision with last year at this time while new families are in need every month.

“New families are coming up, too,” Bolinger said. “Last month, there were 45 new families we had never seen before. That was a shock. That was scary. We usually get 20 new families a month.”

As far as Thanksgiving, donations of food items are still welcome. The food bank will take any item that can be used in a Thanksgiving dinner. There already are enough turkeys to meet the need, but fresh vegetables are always welcome,

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