Tag Archives: South Kitsap Helpline

Food bank feeds the wounded soul

Man does not live by bread alone, so the saying goes. In this case, flowers filled the void.

I happened on this post shared Thursday on Facebook by South Kitsap Helpline Executive Director Jennifer Hardison:

“The following story is one example of why I love working at the South Kitsap Helpline…our fantastic staff and volunteers always seem to go above and beyond for those in need!”

The food bank, it seems, recently got a call, from a woman whose mother had passed away.

“They were having a small memorial for her today at a local park and she was so worried there would be no flowers as she couldn’t afford to purchase them,” Hardison said.

The woman asked if Helpline could donate any flowers from their greenhouse nursery, the organization’s garden/revenue source. Not much was in bloom but for some dahlias in the garden.

Volunteer Mary-cathern Edwards and another woman, Cathy Deisler gathered flowers, ferns and herbs from the nursery as well as from their neighbors, who donated to the cause. The two women put together seven cut flower arrangements in glass vases.
Helpline Flowers
The woman was “absolutely overwhelmed and so very, very grateful,” Hardison said.

The woman did not care to be interviewed for this blog post.

Our condolences on your loss.

Chris Henry
Kitsap Sun

Coffee vendor coming to Manchester dock

Boaters in Manchester will soon be able to fuel up on caffeine as they launch at the Manchester dock. The Port of Manchester Board of Commissioners has given approval for a coffee and muffin vendor to sell her wares from the early morning to mid-afternoon on days to be announced. The port had to get special permission from the state’s Recreation and Conservation Office, which has given it recreation grants, said Commissioner Jim Strode.

The addition of the vendor, which is seen as a potential draw for visitors to Manchester, was discussed by the Port Advisory Committee, Strode said. The committee also has recommended allowing South Kitsap Helpline to sell flowers, vegetables and plant starts at the Manchester Library one day a week.

Helpline owns the old Port Orchard Nursery property and grows plants in the greenhouses to help fund its food bank operations. Helpline’s application to the Port Orchard Farmers Market was declined, because the market does not allow vendors with storefronts. Helpline also sells its wares on the nursery property, but Executive Director Jennifer Hardison said they need to expand to increase their revenue.

Helpline is selling at the Bremerton Farmers market on Thursdays and has secured a sidewalk space in Port Orchard outside Bay Street Custom Picture Framing on Saturdays, the same day as the Port Orchard Farmer’s Market. Permission to sell there was granted from the building owner, Hardison said.

The port commissioners will discuss having Helpline sell in Manchester at its meeting at 6 p.m. Monday at the Manchester Library. The likely day for sales would be Sunday, when it would not conflict with library traffic, Strode said. Port meetings are open to the public.

Helpline is hoping to upgrade its greenhouses from costly oil heat to more efficient natural gas so that they can grow throughout the year, Hardison said. They have signed a letter of intent with Don Ryan, who plans to open an indoor Pike Place-style market in downtown Port Orchard this summer.


South Kitsap Helpline needs fresh produce to complete Thanksgiving baskets

Jennifer Hardison of South Kitsap Helpline submitted this press release to our website. Donations are down this year, she says, and the same is probably true outside of South Kitsap.

Here’s Jennifer:

“PORT ORCHARD — The South Kitsap Helpline Food Bank in Port Orchard is preparing to distribute Thanksgiving food baskets on Nov. 21st and 22nd to the more than 1,100 local families who have signed up with our agency for assistance. Because funding is very limited this year, we are unable to afford to purchase fresh, bulk produce for our baskets.

We are having a fresh produce drive to help bring in items like fresh carrots, celery, yams, sweet potatoes, baking potatoes, onions, apples, oranges and tangerines to be distributed to those in need locally. If you would like to help, please drop produce off at the South Kitsap Helpline, located at 1012 Mitchell Avenue in Port Orchard on Fri., Nov 18th from 10:30 am -3:30 pm or on Sat. the 19th from 9 am -2 pm.

If you are unable to bring produce but would like to help, you can donate securely online to assist with the purchase of necessary food items. Please visit www.skhelpline.org and click the “donate now” button. To mail in a donation, please send to the South Kitsap Helpline Food Bank, 1012 Mitchell Avenue, Port Orchard WA 98366. Our food bank helps to provide food to more than 50,000 local children, adults and seniors in our community annually. For more information, please call 360-876-4089. Thank you for your support!”

Speaking of Farmers Markets

Note: There’s news somewhere in this post. Hang with me.

Where but in Port Orchard is the local farmer’s market more controversial than a city council meeting? Oh, that’s right … Bremerton.

But let me not pick at old scabs.

The story we ran today — about a rule clarification for vendors at the Port Orchard Farmers Market — garnered some strong opinions in the comment section. It’s nice to know people are passionate about their vegetables.

I should mention that an e-mail we received last week, harshly critical of the farmers market, was the reason we checked into what was going on. I almost hesitate to bring this up … the contents of the e-mail that is. That would mean I’d have to mention what has become known as “the great tomato controversy.”

Let’s just say that, as we reported at the time (June 20, 2010), there was a widespread smattering of disgruntlement last market season over prices South Kitsap Helpline was asking for its tomato starts. Market officials suggested Helpline raise its prices but, as we reported, did not force it to do so.

Rumors that the dust-up turned into World War III are greatly exaggerated, market officials say.

“I want it made perfectly clear I did not receive death threats. I received some rather nasty phone calls,” said acting market manager Barbara Fangen Monday. “We just chose to not respond, because it made us look more ridiculous.”

Instead, as the Kitsap Sun reported, the farmers market membership affirmed Helpline’s right to sell on the waterfront Saturday mornings for the remainder of the season, “even though it doesn’t entirely meet the organization’s guidelines. Vendors who sell out of commercial stores are not eligible. Exceptions are allowed with members’ approval, however.”

As we reported in today’s story, the membership revisited the no-storefront rule in February and decided a clarification was in order. Period, end of story. Suggestions (including those in the e-mail) that there is a direct connection between the tomato pricing issue and the rule clarification were not substantiated by my research.

With that said, let’s move on to other farmers market news (and thanks for your patience).

Olalla will have its own farmers market this year. The Olalla Valley Farmers Market kicks off April 15 and will meet 1 to 5 p.m. Fridays in the field next to the Olalla Bible Church annex, 13053 Olalla Valley Road Southeast. The last day of the market for 2011 will be Oct. 7.

Olalla residents Sandy and Roy Denton, who helped found the Gig Harbor Farmers Market in 1991, have helped plans for the Olalla market coalesce. So far 13 vendors have stepped forward, and Roy says, the more, the better.

According to Roy, farmers markets are more and more being regarded as commodity outlets for those seeking that fresh-off-the-farm taste, not just quaint destinations for a weekend jaunt.

The Olalla Valley Farmers Market is co-sponsored by the Olalla Grange #1125, the Olalla Community Club, Olalla Bible Church and His Playschool.

Organizers will host a meeting for interested vendors at 7:30 p.m. March 17 at Olalla Bible Church. For more information, call Roy or Sandy at (253) 857-2691 or e-mail manager@olallavalleyfarmersmarket.org.