Food Bank scores shopping spree

The Coupeville food bank had a chance to take home hundreds of dollars worth of groceries for free.

The long-standing Coupeville food bank had a chance to take home hundreds of dollars worth of groceries for free last month, thanks to the Lions Club.

Every year, the Coupeville Lions Club hosts a shopping spree raffle at Prairie Center Market. Raffle tickets are sold at the grocery store and people can enter their own name or that of a charity. This year, many of the 2,520 tickets sold were entered for Gifts from the Heart Food Bank, which won the prize.

The grand prize is a three-minute shopping spree at the Prairie Center, wherein one shopper gathers as many groceries as they can to take home at no cost. The Lions Club foots the bill.

“They race through – it’s quite fun,” said Deanna Rogers, PR chair for the Coupeville Lions Club.

After that, the food bank received an additional $50 from the meat department at the Prairie Center.

“It was a great event, we had a lot of fun doing it,” Rogers said.

Even if the food bank had not won the shopping spree, they still would have received money from the ticket raffle proceeds, which the club donates to the food bank every year. This time it amounted to $1,358

Coupeville mayor and president of Gifts from the Heart Food Bank Molly Hughes said the Lions have been longtime supporters of the charity, especially during the pandemic when a lot of regular volunteers were no longer able to work.

“They’re one of our first and longest support service groups so we really love them,” she said.

Coupeville Lion and food bank volunteer Sandy Johnson was one of the volunteers that came to the rescue in the midst of COVID. Johnson was the one who completed the shopping spree.

“Three minutes goes by really quickly when you’re running up and down those aisles but she did a great job,” Hughes said.

The items Johnson focused on grabbing were canned fruit, side dishes, heavy soups and cold cereal. In total, she managed to snag over $600 worth of food.

The food bank especially needed the grocers this year.

“Our shelves are kind of skinny,” Hughes said.

While people often give to the food bank around the holidays, those donations are typically used in January, February and March. The beginning of the year is often slow for donations and food drives. Planning and gathering supplies for the holiday months actually begins in August.

“It’s a big help for our day-to-day operations and especially going into the new year,” Hughes said of the spree.

Gifts from the Heart Food Bank has donation tubs year-round for nonperishable items in the lobbies of Prairie Center, the Coupeville Post Office and the Whidbey Island Bank in Coupeville.

The Coupeville Elementary school is currently hosting a food drive until Dec. 16. The food bank is looking for businesses or service groups to host food drives in the first quarter of 2023. Call 360-672-5502 to learn more.

For monetary donations, checks can be mailed to P.O. Box 155 or done online at Online donations can be specified for the general fund, the food bank’s new building or the Meals2Kids program which provides weekend food for Coupeville School District students.

For more information on the Coupeville Lions club, visit