Coupeville Lions Shopping Spree
The 2014 Coupeville Lions Shopping Spree took place on Saturday, November 15th, at Prairie Center Red Apple. The winning raffle ticket went to the Gifts From The Heart thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor. During the three-minute spree, food bank volunteer, Mitch Incarnato, filled several carts and accumulated over $500 worth of food items that will help stock the shelves at GFRH. Thanks to the Coupeville Lions, Prairie Center Apple, and Mitch!
Mitch Incarnato - triumphant!
Mike Pearson, assistant manager at Prairie Center, with Mitch Incarnato
Coupeville Lions, Mike Pearson from Prairie Center, super shopper Mitch Incarnato, and food bank volunteers.
Coupeville High School Food Drive
In 2014, the Annual Coupeville High School food drive has been extended to December 5. The school has collected thousands of items (over 2,500 as of November 20). Here is a picture of some of the students help load the food donations into the GFTH van.
On November 11, 2014, The Coupeville Lions Club Treasurer announced that she had sent a check to the food bank for the Club's annual donation of $1,000 ($100 for the Lady Lions registration for the Harvest Fest Relay Races and the remainder as a $900 donation).
Then, the Club had the raffle drawing for the annual Shopping Spree and...the food bank won! This means GFTH will get to shop for three minutes and get as many groceries as possible as well as choose $50 worth of meat afterward.
Meals 2 Kids
The Gifts from the Heart Food Bank has embarked on a new program to ensure that Coupeville Elementary School children get sufficient food to eat on the weekends. The new program was described in the September 27, 2013 edition of the Whidbey Examiner and is reproduced on this website. A new page on this website is dedicated to this important new program.
Harvest Fest Relay Races
The 2014 Relay Races were a huge success! Despite pouring rain, we had nine teams compete, and we raised over $28,000. Thank you to all who competed, donated money, and worked the day of the Races. The local newspapers, and the community rallied to make another successful event.
- The Safeway food drive is off and running. The food from this drive has continued to improve over the years. This year's bags include a can of tuna, a jar of peanut butter, two bags of pasta, two cans of pasta sauce, and a large can of corn or beans. We will be processing this food in Cheryl's garage and sending it to storage in Greenbank. This arrangement will free up room at the food bank for all the holiday food drives and special holiday food that we purchase. Thank you to all who volunteered to make daily trips to Safeway to pick up these bags!
- The high school extended their annual food drive to December.
- The Elementary School held a food drive in November.
- Our own Jack Tingstad held his annual Model Railroad Open House on November 30th and December 1st. He asked that all who visited bring donations for the food bank. Last year Jack collected 1,000 pounds of food and $300 in donations.
- Many other churches and service groups hold small food drives at their monthly meetings in November and December.
Prairie Center - Holiday Open House
Ken Hofkamp again invited the food bank to participate in their big Holiday Open House event on Friday, December 6th. Ken set up a tent in the parking lot and served free coffee and cookies. There were many other yummy food samples inside the store. Mayor Nancy Conard and I were in the tent from 11:00 to 4:00 greeting people, asking for food donations, and accepting donations. We received $765, including a $200 donation from Prairie Center, and six boxes of food donations. Thanks Ken!
Prairie Center will be selling holiday meals again this year in November and December. Each bag has a turkey, ham, pie, bag of potatoes, and other good holiday food at a great price. Remind your friends that they can purchase a holiday meal for the food bank. Just let the cashier know you want add the cost of a holiday meal onto your total, and Prairie Center will keep track of the meals purchased for us. An easy, meaningful way to contribute during the holidays.
Red Apple Food Drive
Prairie Center also ran their own food drive; they sold a $20 bag of food for $10 and donated them to the food bank. These bags contained many wonderful items and have been put away and are on our shelves ready to give to our clients. The community supported this food drive in a BIG way. Thank you Ken and crew at Prairie Center!
Prairie Center Support
I just want to take a minute to make sure that everyone knows how important Prairie Center is to Gifts from the Heart. They order fresh produce for us all year long, we place huge case sale orders with them, they order and store our holiday turkeys and hams, they accept donations of food and money for us in their store, they promote us in their store flyers, they hold special events for us, they allow local groups to hold food drives for us in front of the store, they let us know about specials and sales, they place special orders for us…the list goes on and on and on. Most of these tasks require their department manager,s and other employees' time and use their limited storage space, but they are always happy to help. I don't know what we would do without 'our little local grocery store.' Thanks Prairie Center!
Dale Sherman, owner of Pioneer Farm, has been cutting his fabulous hubbard squash for us again this year. This squash is a wonderful, fresh, healthy donation that our clients look forward to. Dale donates hundreds of pounds of squash to us each year. Thanks Dale!
We will again have food bank Christmas cards "for sale." For a donation, we recommend at least $10 per card. People can purchase a card to send to a loved one instead of a gift. The front of the card says, "To celebrate the true meaning of the season, a gift has been made in your honor to Gifts from the Heart Food Bank." On the inside of the card is a place to write the name of the person the donation has been made in honor of and whom the card is from. The cards come with bright red envelopes. They are available in the Coupeville United Methodist Church office, which is open until noon every day, and at the Coupeville Town Hall, which is open 8:00 to 4:30 Monday thru Thursday. You can also get cards by calling 678-8312.
We receive many more generous donations from individuals, businesses, churches, and service groups during the holiday season. As you shop in these businesses or run into members of the groups who donate, please thank them for all they do for Gifts from the Heart.
Stamp Out Hunger
May 10 - "Stamp Out Hunger" is our annual Post Office food drive. Leave nonperishable food donations in your mail box, and your postal carriers will pick them up and bring them to us. This is a very important food drive for us, the second biggest of the year!
Memorial Day Parade
May - Annual Memorial Day Parade in Coupeville. Food bank volunteers drive our van in the parade, and the inimitable Gifts from the Heart Grocery Cart Drill Team marched with amazing precision. Thanks to all those who donated nonperishable along the parade route.
Incredible Grocery Card Drill team in action
Freedom from Hunger
August - We partnered with the Prairie Center Red Apple to collect cash for the food bank. This money is used to buy food during the summer when most food banks have a hard time keeping their shelves stocked. By telling any cashier at Prairie Center that you wanted to make a donation to the food bank when you are checking out you made a difference.
Harvest Fest Relay Races
October 11th - This year marked the seventh annual relay races held at the Coupeville Farmers Market. The races started at noon. This is our largest fundraiser of the year. Every year, teams of five are invited to register for this enormously entertaining event. Fun for everyone! Contact the Food Bank for details at 678-8312 or go to this page.
Greening of Coupeville Christmas Parade
December - The world famous Gifts from the Heart Grocery Cart Drill Team will once again be marching in the parade! Please bring your nonperishable food items to the parade route for the drill team to collect. Contact the food bank for details at 678-8312.
Contributors and Fundraising Events
Previous Coupeville Lions Shopping Spree
The Coupeville Lions Club sells Shopping Spree raffle tickets, and the winner gets to shop for three minutes in Prairie Center Red Apple.
In 2013, winners, Coupeville Lions Tom and Teresa Ellis, donated their winning ticket to the food bank. Cheryl Thomas, a food bank volunteer, was our shopper and managed to get over $500 in groceries in three minutes!
Scouting for Food
|These proud scouts show off their donations.|
The Greenbank Boy Scouts, Coupeville Boy Scouts, and Coupeville Cub Scouts have collected food for us during the National Boy Scout "Scouting for Food" food drive. This is a large food drive we look forward to every March.
Living Hope Vacation Bible School Food Drive
|Vacation Bible School members strike a pose in front of their food donations.|
For several years, the Living Hope Vacation Bible School has collected food every day during their week-long Vacation Bible School. This food drive has grown to become our third largest food drive of the year!
Coupeville Middle School Garden
|Ms. Welch and her students show off their tasty harvest of lettuce.|
The 7th and 8th graders in Ms. Terry Welch's class have grown a garden at the middle school and have donated the produce to the food bank for years. They grow early harvest lettuce and spinach in many different varieties. They usually get three harvests from their garden before school is out in June. Our clients appreciate this healthy, organic donation.