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Kiwanians assist F.I.S.H. with massive cereal donation

By Staff | Dec 14, 2010

Pictured from left is Dave Williams, a Kiwanis Club member, Christine Swiersz, F.I.S.H.'s licensed clinical social worker, and Tom Louwers of Friends Who Care.

The directors and staff at Friends In Service Here (F.I.S.H.) of Sanibel were ecstatic to see a pile of 402 boxes of breakfast cereal stacked up in the conference room of their Walk-In Center.

The duo of Tom Louwers and Bill Traum had challenged the Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis Club to help support the F.I.S.H. food pantry. At the holiday dinner, the Kiwanis members were to bring boxes of cereal to reach their goal of 200 boxes.

In response, the Kiwanians started to call Tom and Bill “the cereal bandits” and said they would do whatever necessary to meet their goal.

And meet it they did. But where did the rest of the cereal come from? Louwers called the Sanibel Captiva Community Bank and asked Craig Albert to match whatever was collected. Immediately the bank agreed to help with this project.

And what about the last two boxes, to bring the total to 402? Maggie Feiner, current President of F.I.S.H. stated that her favorite cereal was Cocoa Puffs. As a tribute to Maggie’s hard work, the last two boxes that were placed on the pile were — of course — Cocoa Puffs.

Which begs the next question: “Got milk?”

What do you do with all that cereal and no milk? Louwers contacted Lynn Ridlehoover, a member of SWOTI (Serving Women On The Island). The SWOTI team of Zonta is a woman’s group on the island that has a great interest in helping the community. After a short discussion, SWOTI agreed to donate money for more then 75 gallons of milk.

“The service clubs of the islands have always worked together to make things happen,” said Louwers. “We have a common interest in assisting less fortunate then ourselves.”

F.I.S.H. is now helping more then 100 families with food subsidies. During the next couple of weeks, the children of these families will be out of school and cereal is the perfect, easy to prepare meal. During that period, the families will have a good selection of Cheerios, Rice Krispies, corn flakes, oatmeal and even a few boxes of Boo Berry.

But if you want Cocoa Puffs, you’ll have to personally see Feiner.

Anyone wishing to donate a few cans of food or household supplies to F.I.S.H. can stop by the Walk-In Center, located at 1630-B Periwinkle Way, any time during the day.

Bill Fellows, President-Elect of F.I.S.H., commented that the generosity of the community organizations allows his group to meet the mission of “neighbors helping neighbors.”

For additional information about F.I.S.H., please call 472-4775.