News

Helpline trying to stay in business of helping

Master Gardener Mary Cathern-Edwards looks through a crate of beans brought in from the Master Gardeners’ Olalla plot to the South Kitsap Helpline food bank. - Tim Kelly/Staff photo
Master Gardener Mary Cathern-Edwards looks through a crate of beans brought in from the Master Gardeners’ Olalla plot to the South Kitsap Helpline food bank.
— image credit: Tim Kelly/Staff photo

The bounty from the food bank’s own garden and others is providing a welcome addition of fresh vegetables to free lunches prepared for youngsters and to food boxes distributed this summer.

But the providers themselves are in a real pickle, financially.

“I’ve got to come up with a substantial amount of money by the end of the week, to cover some bills,” South Kitsap Helpline executive director Jennifer Hardison said Tuesday.

The agency recently had to make some difficult cuts to reduce expenses as it struggles to make ends meet. Two paid staff positions that combined for 40-50 hours a week were eliminated. There are seven remaining paid staff members, including Hardison, and they all had their hours reduced.

“We hope eventually to raise those hours back up,” said Kareen Stockton, president of Helpline’s board.

They’re trying to remain positive and focused on developing more opportunities to bring in revenue from selling the herbs, vegetables and flowers grown in the gardens and greenhouse at the old Port Orchard Nursery, the site that Helpline acquired last year with the help of a special grant.

the reason we struggling harder now than we have in past with same situation is our client numbre have increased so much

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 19 edition online now. Browse the archives.