Community March 18, 2021

Community Spotlight: Fishline Food Bank

As one of the oldest food banks in the United States, Fishline has served North Kitsap County for 54 years. It distributes over one million pounds of food annually. Today, Fishline provides comprehensive services to assist our neighbors in need. Read on to find out more about this incredible organization.

Fishline’s History and Mission

The First Lutheran, St. Charles Episcopal, and St. Olaf’s Catholic Parish combined their efforts to establish Fishline in 1967.  Fishline’s mission is to serve the North Kitsap community by providing resources to transform lives. Above all, Fishline envisions a community where a solid foundation exists for all people, including adequate food, shelter, healthcare, and employment. 

Barbara Stuart, Fishline’s first Executive Director, worked tirelessly for 34 years to grow Fishline. Stuart’s leadership pioneered the organization’s innovative comprehensive services structure.  “Their dedicated staff and volunteers work diligently to meet various needs,” says Realtor Randy Taplin, who volunteers at Fishline once a week.

Fishline Food Bank. Photo by Leo Phillips.

A Market and So Much More

Our Windermere agents are proud to volunteer and support Fishline’s services. “Fishline is a remarkable local organization that has evolved into something groundbreaking,” says Bridget Young, Broker. “The new facility serves community members experiencing food scarcity with its attractive and well-stocked market. In addition, they provide access to important services like dental care, mental health services, and resources for veterans.” 

Fishline is most known for its food services through The Healthy Foods Market. The market is fully stocked with fresh produce, dry/canned goods, baby food, diapers, and various products. Additionally, registered clients can shop there up to two times per week and pay on a need-based “Fishbucks” system.

“I love that Fishline is a well-run organization with so many services to offer our local community members in need,” says Joni Kimmel, Broker. Fishline provides emergency and supportive services such as housing assistance, mental health services, and financial advice.

Mobile Showers Program

On October 5, 2020, Fishline launched its new Fresh Start Mobile Shower Program in collaboration with Kitsap County Rescue Mission, the City of Poulsbo, Clear Creek RV, and Integrity Roofing. The program hopes to expand Fishline’s safety net by providing physical, mental, and emotional benefits to community members during this unprecedented time. It operates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. They provide clients with towels, toiletries, clothing, cold weather gear, and access to its other support services. 

Programs to Address Housing and Food Insecurity

As part of its comprehensive structure, Fishline offers rent assistance, eviction prevention, and homeless support services under their housing services. Safe Park is a unique program that provides safe parking for up to five cars for single women, single men, and families who are temporarily living in their vehicles.

Fishline’s Food for Thought program began in response to the need of low-income students to have enough food during school closures. It’s a fabulous program used by many students,” says Karen Keefe, Broker. Weekends, holidays, and summer can be stressful for food-insecure students who rely on free and reduced school meals. The Food for Thought program delivers meal kits to low-income students in Poulsbo and Suquamish every Friday. Also, this program provides meals during the summer.


Impacting countless lives, Fishline’s programs and their innovative efforts have not gone unnoticed. In fact, two of its programs have received the Food Lifeline Excellence in Client Services Award. This industry award considers programs from food banks throughout Washington state.

Get Involved

Undoubtedly, the combined effort of volunteers and donors is what has powered Fishline’s mission throughout the years. In addition to volunteering and donating, you can host fundraisers or food drives to get involved“Fishline is such an amazing, well-organized nonprofit in its mission to help our community of people in need. I love supporting it,” says Broker Mary Richards.

Hosting an annual food drive is a great way to connect with neighbors and impact your community. “Terry Burns and I host an annual food drive every November in Poulsbo’s Forest Rock Hills to benefit Fishline,” says Liz Bailey, Realtor. “All donated items go directly to Fishline. In 2020, the generous residents of Forest Rock Hills contributed 1,150 pounds of food along with cash donations totaling $1,500.” 

Other Ways to Support Fishline

You can also support Fishline by shopping at or donating to Second Season Thrift Store. All sales directly support Fishline’s vision. Due to the pandemic, Second Season’s donations have decreased while the number of people in need of Fishline’s services has increased. To donate, go to the old Fishline building (19705 NW, Viking Ave NW in Poulsbo) on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM. For more information, visit their Donation Sites page.