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FISH needs donations for dwindling food pantry

By Staff | Jul 2, 2009

Donna is a single mother of three children–Tommy age 10, Christina, age 8 and Jackson, age 7. Donna works in retail during the day and as a part-time waitress on her days off. With escalating gas and food prices, she has been struggling to make ends meet each month. Now that the “season” has come to an end, Donna’s hours have been decreased at the shop and her tips are less. Putting food on the table is becoming more difficult. The F.I.S.H. Food Pantry is helping to feed this family of four.

Harry is an 83-year-old island senior who has lived and worked on Sanibel for over 25 years. His wife passed away five years ago and his only companion is “Kitty,” his 13 year-old cat. Social Security payments are his only income. With limited funds, it is difficult to keep up monthly expenses and pay for groceries. Harry had read about the FISH food pantry and came in for a visit. Timid and humble, he explained he was concerned he would have to give “Kitty” to an animal shelter and worried about what would happen to her. FISH worked with Harry in applying for food assistance and supplied him with enough kitty litter and food so his “Kitty” can remain with him.

Through its Food Pantry, F.I.S.H. has been able to help these two families as well as many others in need. The F.I.S.H Food Pantry offers perishable, frozen and non-perishable foods to anyone in need on Sanibel and Captiva. Last year FISH distributed over 16,750 pounds to islanders needing a helping hand.

F.I.S.H of Sanibel, Inc. is a non-profit, volunteer run organization assisting Sanibel and Captiva islanders and visitors with a wide range of services. For more than 25 years F.I.S.H. has been a “neighbor helping neighbors” by offering services of non-emergency transport on and off the islands, a daily hot meals program, temporary loan of health equipment, in-home visitation, person-to-person telephone calls, hurricane preparedness information and health care referral service. F.I.S.H. also sponsor a monthly Alzheimer Support Group and monthly Friendly Faces Luncheon. The Walk-In-Center opened in September 2007 and is staffed with volunteers who provide information on the services F.I.S.H. offers as well as services offered by others.

F.I.S.H relies on community support to fund all programs including a subsidized meals program, the maintenance of medical equipment, overhead for the Walk-In-Center, and an emergency financial assistance program for individuals and families. F.I.S.H. accepts unexpired food items, which are then delivered directly to island families in need.

The Walk-in-Center is located in the Village Shops at 2340 Periwinkle Way, Unit I-1. It is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 5 p.m. on Wednesday.