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Coupeville food bank readies for busy Thanksgiving

Coupeville’s Harvest Fest in early October raised nearly $5,000 for Gifts from the Heart, a nonprofit organization the provides food for needy families on Central Whidbey Island.

It appears the food bank is going to need every cent, along with support from local schools and businesses to provide for the number of families expected to seek help during the coming holiday season.

Molly Hughes, a member of the Coupeville Town Council who also heads up Gifts from the Heart, said the food bank is expecting to provide holiday dinners for approximately 160 families this Thanksgiving.

She described the numbers of people coming for help during the Wednesday distributions as “high, high, high — really, really high.”

Two weeks ago, 76 Coupeville families and 20 Greenbank families showed up to receive food. Hughes said Gifts from the Heart food bank enrolls four to five new families each time the organization distributes food.

There are several food drives and fundraisers in place to help the food bank meet its goal.

During Harvest Fest, which took place during the last Coupeville Farmer’s Market of the season Oct. 10, organizers raised $4,800 from the relays, where groups raced in such events as the udder pull and the fish toss, Hughes said during Tuesday’s Coupeville Town Council meeting. The amount is more than the $3,500 raised last year but similar to the amount raised two years ago, Hughes said after the meeting.

The food bank is holding another cash fundraiser when it starts selling Christmas cards on a per-donation basis. Hughes said the cards are a low-key fundraiser where people can make a minimum $5 donation to purchase a Christmas card.

In addition, the schools in the Coupeville School District are holding holiday food drives. Hughes said the elementary school students are already collecting food and the middle and high school effort is expected to start soon.

Prairie Center Red Apple Market on South Main Street in Coupeville is also providing help. People purchasing a Thanksgiving dinner can also donate one to Gifts from the Heart. The checker has a button to push and the grocery store staff will collect the meals and transport them to the food bank.

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