Lots of needs met, thanks at Good Cheer Food Bank

Even amid rising need at the Good Cheer Food Bank, staff had plenty to be thankful for.Photo courtesy of Good Cheer | Kathy McCabe, left, and Jay Ryan, right, receive a plaque on behalf of Good Cheer from County Commissioner Helen Price Johnson, second from left and state Rep. Norma Smith.

They had 180 volunteers who stocked the food bank and worked at the thrift stores. They had fulfilled thousands of requests for food. And they helped children buy gifts for their families from the Good Cheer thrift shops.

South Whidbey Assembly of God hosted and prepared a banquet of chicken, vegetables, rice and cheesecake for Good Cheer’s volunteers Saturday. Espresso was available from Whidbey Coffee, too.

“It was such a nice treat for Good Cheer volunteers who often are taking care of someone else, to be pampered and fed,” said Shawn Nowlin, Good Cheer’s community outreach coordinator, in a press release.

And Good Cheer needs happy volunteers this month. As of Dec. 19, 700 families had shopped at the food bank, and the food bank manager predicted that December’s service record could be broken this year.

“We’re well on our way for December,” said Good Cheer Food Bank Manager Karen Korbelik. “That’s pretty significant.

“I have a feeling it’s going to be really big because of the weather.”

Food drives around South Whidbey and at schools helped supplement the need for food donations. Though the food bank could still use donations of canned goods, soups and peanut butter.

“That’s always a nice thing to fill the shelves so people can stock up on the winter,” Korbelik said.

Good Cheer celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. The theme for the gathering was “local,” and Good Cheer leaders wanted to continue that idea this holiday shopping season. Good Cheer thrift stores will give a 10-percent discount for any receipt from a South Whidbey business brought in within a week of the receipt’s purchase date.

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