Kitsap Credit Union Joins Forces with Full Circle Meals to Support Community

KCU COO Kellie LeTexier; President and CEO, Shawn Gilfedder; and Outreach Coordinator, Cathy Brorson, picking up meals at Kettle Fish Restaurant.

5/26/2020

Kitsap Credit Union has partnered with Full Circle Meals to feed vulnerable and underserved populations in Kitsap County, Washington, while helping to stabilize the local economy and support small businesses.

When state-mandated “stay-at-home” orders were issued in March, many restaurants saw a sharp decline in business — some were even forced to close their doors permanently. Those that were able to remain open were operating with significantly reduced staff.

Several local restaurant owners came together to strategize on a community safety net. What resulted was Full Circle Meals, which pays restaurants to make high quality meals for residents and frontline workers via donations and financial sponsorships from community partners.

Jon Kozak, Multimedia Graphic Designer at KCU, delivering meals to the the Kitsap Rescue Mission.

When Kitsap Credit Union learned about Full Circle Meals, it jumped right in to get involved, embodying the “People Helping People” philosophy credit unions are known for.

“We saw this and thought, ‘This is who we are,’” said Cathy Brorson, Outreach Coordinator at the credit union. “We are our community, so we knew we wanted to be a part of it.”

Along with Peninsula Credit Union and over a dozen other local businesses, Kitsap Credit Union offered corporate sponsorship to support the initiative and has been helping with deliveries. Four days a week, employees pick up meals from various restaurants and deliver them to the Kitsap Rescue Mission.

“It really is a full circle opportunity,” said Brorson, chuckling. “It gets the sponsors’ names out there, it’s providing funds to keep these smaller restaurants in business, and it’s feeding the vulnerable groups in our community.”

KCU and Rescue Mission staff setting up lunch for their guests.

Other Full Circle Meals recipients include Retsil Veteran’s Home; homeless vets; and hundreds of clients of the ARC of the Peninsula, a leader in securing services and advocacy for the rights of people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, the credit union said.

“Food insecurity has always been a challenge, and now we are experiencing escalating unemployment in the face of this virus-related recession,” said Kitsap Credit Union President and CEO, Shawn Gilfedder. “KCU and other community leaders have committed to helping those in need by partnering with Full Circle Meals, which brings business to local eateries for the benefit of those in need. In essence, we are working together to make investments that have a high impact and promote sustainability in these uncertain times.”

More than 7,000 meals have been delivered and enough funds have been raised to sustain this program through June 15.

“This has really been a testament to the community and an example of what can happen when people start working together for the greater good,” said Brorson.

To learn more about Full Circle Meals, please visit its funding site or Facebook page.

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