SK Helpline Scores $300,000 Grant Toward Nursery Purchase

Food bank plans fundraiser with gardening personality Ciscoe Morris.
By Chris Henry
South Kitsap Helpline on Friday heard they were awarded a $300,000 grant from the Birkenfeld Trust through the Seattle Foundation.
The grant will allow the food bank to make a down payment on the Port Orchard Nursery on Mitchell Road, which is for sale. The food bank plans to use the three-acre facility to grow produce for its clients.
The nursery was founded in 1949 by Glen and Oleah Greseth. The Greseth’s son E.B. and his wife Kay managed the nursery for 30 years. Now they plan to retire. The Greseths support the concept of the food bank’s growing its own.
According to Helpline Director Jennifer Hardison, purchase of the nursery will allow the food bank to expand its services and offer clients classes in nutrition education, cooking and growing their own food. There are also plans to also increase the agency’s vocational skills programs.
The nursery presents new opportunities to generate more revenue for the food bank, said Hardison. They include year-round community classes, children’s programs and workshops, seasonal sales of Christmas trees and wreaths, plus on- and off-site retail produce and nursery sales.
The remainder of the property purchase price will be made up by additional grants and with funding received from the agency’s capital campaign. The campaign will kick off July 5, beginning with a Garden Festival at the nursery from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A vendor fair featuring gifts, flowers, plants and garden art will be held in the nursery parking lot that day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The fair is free to the public. Free classes and workshops for children will also be offered throughout the event. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.
The event will feature King 5 TV personality and master gardener Ciscoe Morris, who will speak from 4 to 5 p.m. Tickets to hear Ciscoe are $25 and include a reception with him from 5 to 6 p.m.
For more information and to make reservations for the Ciscoe Morris event, call (360) 876-4089.

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