Feeding Kitsap | Kitsap Week

Ever since settlers journeyed to the this continent, there has been a notion of giving thanks after the season’s final harvest.

Today, that notion has evolved into a time of gathering with friends and family, however, for some it has become a time to help others to do just that.

And Kitsap has plenty of people in need of a helping hand.

“We probably do 7,000 pounds of food every day, through our market and our emergency food boxes,” said Raelenea Rodriguez of North Kitsap Fishline.

The nonprofit food bank accommodates approximately 120 families each day. And Fishline officials are noticing its number of clients rising.

“We have had a huge influx of new clients over the last couple of years,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve been here five years and I can tell you that it’s probably tripled in that amount of time.”

She added, “We used to see three or five households come in new each week or so, and a lot of weeks, now, we see that every day.”

Some families come for a little assistance during a tight month and don’t return, Rodriguez said. Others become repeat clients.

“For the most part, we are growing exponentially,” Rodriguez said.

To meet the need around Thanksgiving, Fishline prepares holiday boxes filled with items for the dinner. Last year, the food bank handed out nearly 400 boxes for Thanksgiving.

Fishline is no longer taking reservations for the boxes this year, but it will serve walk-ins for the boxes on Nov. 27 at its Poulsbo location on 3rd Street. Clients need to be full-service members of Fishline and live in Poulsbo, Keyport or Suquamish.

Another Thanksgiving service is a series of hot meals served throughout the region, provided by Faith LiNK.

Faith LiNK is a North Kitsap collective of churches and organizations dedicated to helping those in need. The various churches serve hot meals either weekly or monthly. Its website,, has a calendar of meals.

“All the community meals listed on the Faith LiNK website are free and open to the public,” Rodriguez said. “Generally there is a core group of folks that go in and socialize, but anyone is welcome. We encourage new people to try it.”

She added, “Those meals are amazing. We have some master chefs working these meals. They are not out of a box. It’s an incredible group of folks that come together to cook and serve, and there’s music at some of the venues. It’s very welcoming.”

The holidays are a time when their efforts are particularly important.

Special Thanksgiving meals are planned at a few locations during the holiday week.

In particular, First Lutheran Church in Poulsbo will host a free Thanksgiving meal beginning at 2 p.m. Organizers request that interested families and individuals sign up for the dinner at Fishline to help them adequately plan for the crowd.

There will be a meal nearly every day during the week, aside from Wednesday. A calendar of free meals can be found on the Fishline or Faith LiNK website.


Thanksgiving Week meals

Monday, Oct. 18

5-6:30 p.m.

Seventh Day Adventist Church

1700 NE Lincoln Road, Poulsbo

Wednesday, Oct. 20

5-7 p.m.

Suquamish United Church of Christ

18732 Division Ave. NE, Suquamish

*Not a traditional Thanksgiving meal.

Thursday, Oct. 21

2 p.m.

First Lutheran Church

18920 4th Ave. NE, Poulsbo

*RSVP with Fishline at 360-779-4191.

Friday, Oct. 22

5-6 p.m.

Bayside Community Church

25992 Barber Cutoff Road, Kingston

Saturday, Oct. 23

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Gateway Fellowship Church

18901 8th Ave. NE, Poulsbo

*Not a traditional Thanksgiving meal.

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