I

t’s not a fact we like to
think about, but many
kids in our local schools
go through their day hun-
gry, causing lack of energy
and focus, inhibiting their
ability to learn.
School food programs
help address this problem,
but what about the week-
ends?
This month ShareNet
introduces its Food to
Grow pilot program in two
Kingston schools: Wolfle
Elementary and Spectrum
Community. Food to Grow
will distribute nutritious,
easily portable food to stu-
dents in need for weekend
consumption, when school
food programs are not
available to them.
Students will be iden-
tified by
school coun-
selors, who
will discuss
par t i c i pa-
tion with the
student and
their family,
then make
the referral
to ShareNet
if appropri-
ate.
A b o u t
15 students
have already been referred
to the program, and the
numbers are expected to
build gradually but steadily
as word gets out.
The food will include
cereals, single servings of
fresh produce and easily
microwaveable items.
The food is meant to be
easy to prepare and con-
sume as we will not know
the home environment or
cooking equipment available
there. The food is intended
for the student named and
is meant for weekend use,
not as anytime snacks or for
the extended family, though
we understand that, realisti-
cally, the kids will consume
as they wish.
A Spectrum staffer told
us that, “Most of their stu-
dents are hun-
gry most of the
time.”
This may be
partly due to
the fact their
student body is
all adolescent,
but many of
the Spectrum
kids are not in
stable homes
or are techni-
cally home-
less, staying
with friends
or couch surfing, so there
is hardly an ideal environ-
ment for keeping a growing
teen well-fueled for school.
Families in need of assis-
tance beyond Food to Grow
will be encouraged through
the program to contact us,
so that the entire family
may benefit from services
available through ShareNet,
rather than just the stu-
dent.
Students will be eligible
even if the family already
receives ShareNet assistance
and vice versa; participa-
tion in one program will
not exclude participation
from the other.
If your child could ben-
efit from the Food to Grow
weekend food program in
schools, please contact your
school counselor. With
only a couple of months left
in the current school term,
this phase of the program is
regarded as a pilot, perfect
for working out the neces-
sary structures, purchasing,
and logistics.
At the end of the term par-
ticipants, families, schools,
and ShareNet will evaluate
the program’s effectiveness
and decide upon continu-
ation and direction for the
future. The program has
been in development since
2009, with eager volunteers
and staffers excited about
its possibilities.
Food to Grow is expected
to find and meet its need. If
you’d like to donate specifi-
cally to this program, please
let us know; as it grows
the costs to operate it will
increase.
Growers needed
Farmers and home gar-
deners: If you have excess
produce, or would like to
earmark part of your grow-
ing area for donations to
ShareNet, we would like to
hear from you.
We would like to build
consistent relationships
with growers, as produce
remains a challenging seg-
ment of the food we pro-
vide. We either seem to
have none at all or a wind-
fall which is so much it’s
then difficult to store or
distribute quickly.
Reliable, anticipated rela-
tionships would help us
provide more fresh produce
to the part of our commu-
nity in need.
Kids need ‘Food to Grow’
May 2010 www.kingstoncommunitynews.com Kingston Community News Page 23
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care are important to you...
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Volunteers Wanted
Kingston Kiwanis -- 7 a.m. every Thursday at the Oak Table
Café. Info: Dale Rude at (360) 265-6761.
Kingston North Kitsap Rotary -- 12 p.m. every Wednesday
at the Kingston Cove Yacht Club. Info: Dan Martin at
(360) 297-6640.
Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce -- 10 a.m. - 2
p.m., 11201 State Route 104, Kingston. Info: Linda
Fyfe at (360) 297-3813. Committees include: Festivals
and Events/Downtown Kingston -- Dan Martin, (360)
297-6640. Community Beautication -- Wendy Armstrong,
(360) 297-3133. Urban Economic Development -- Ste-
phen Barrett, (360) 930-3223.Info: www.kingstoncham-
ber.com
Kingston Garden Club -- 9 a.m., third Wednesday of the
month, at Redeemer United Methodist Church at 9900
NE Shorty Campbell Road, Kingston. Info: Maxine Healy
at (360) 297-8250. Website: www.kingstongardenclub.
com.
Village Green Foundation -- 4 p.m., the fourth Tuesday ev-
ery month at Cleo’s Learning Center, 11215 State Route
104, Kingston. Info: Bobbie Moore, executive director,
(360) 297-2845.
Kingston Friends of the Library -- 10:30 a.m., the second
Tuesday every month at the Kingston Library, 11212 NE
State Route 104, Kingston. Info: Jerianne Helberg at
(360) 297-9509.
Kitsap Arts and Crafts -- Info: Evy Holstein at (360) 297-
2828.
Kingston Food Bank -- Noon to 3 p.m., every Wednesday
and Friday, at the VFW Hall on First Street.
ShareNet Foodbank and Thrift Shop— Has regular and sea-
sonal volunteer opportunities. Call (360) 297-2266 or
visit www.sharenetfoodbank.org to download a volunteer
application.
Need a hand? Send listings editor@kingstoncommuni-
tynews.com
SHARENET
& YOU
By MARK INCE
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