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Season of giving: Gifts from the Heart helping through holidays

Irene Gustafson organizes fresh produce at Gifts from the Heart food bank last week. The food bank changed its distribution days this month so it could help families prior to Christmas. - Nathan Whalen photo
Irene Gustafson organizes fresh produce at Gifts from the Heart food bank last week. The food bank changed its distribution days this month so it could help families prior to Christmas.
— image credit: Nathan Whalen photo

About a dozen volunteers spent the morning of Dec. 18 sorting food being distributed to families on Central Whidbey Island.

Coupeville’s Gifts from the Heart food bank volunteers were busy making sure low income families had a holiday meal in time for Christmas. Volunteers expected to give out around 150 Christmas hams last week as part of the twice monthly dispersal times that take place in Greenbank and Coupeville.

In addition to the hams, volunteers were also busy sorting bags of groceries that are given to low-income families. The food bank had to change its dispersal dates this month to the first and third Wednesday of the month so people could get help before Christmas.

Hughes said a community effort is needed to provide the holiday food. Gifts from the Heart worked with Prairie Center to get a good deal on the hams and such places as the high school to help store the extra food. She added that several farms, including Sherman farms and Rosehip Farm provided squash for residents.

The holiday distribution comes as two food drives are winding down in the Coupeville School District. The donations from the schools helps the food bank get through January and February.

Gifts from the Heart food bank dispersed 164 turkeys to families in time for Thanksgiving. Hughes said the Thanksgiving dispersal was the second busiest month since 2011.

The local food bank typically doles food the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month at the Coupeville Boys and Girls Club and the Greenbank Progressive Club.

 

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