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Eileen Fisher helping stock F.I.S.H.

By Staff | Apr 20, 2012

JIM LINETTE Eileen Fisher sales associates Sandre Reed (left) and Sharon Torres arrange baskets of non-perishable food items donated in the first few days of their second annual food drive to restock the F.I.S.H. Food Pantry.

Eileen Fisher, the upscale ladies’ apparel store in the Forever Green Center, is doing its part in helping F.I.S.H. (Friends in Service Here) of Sanibel restock its Food Pantry for the summer by collecting food donations.

Eileen Fisher, in its 19th year on Sanibel, will collect non-perishable food items at its 2055 Periwinkle Way location through Sunday.

“We might extend the deadline a few days beyond that,” said assistant manager Rose Belfiore-Yannie. “We collected four large bags last year from our seasonal residents and customers who head back up north at this time of year.”

“It was so successful last year we decided to do it again,” said sales associate Sandre Reed, who is coordinating the store’s effort.

Eileen Fisher’s effort will help restock the F.I.S.H. Food Pantry after a very busy season. Seasonal residents are being asked to think about donating surplus food items in their own pantries. Approximately 100 families currently use the F.I.S.H. Pantry on a regular basis.

“Each year Eileen Fisher supports several local charities and this year we chose F.I.S.H. as our food drive charity of choice,” said store manager Ruth Mayer. “We know how difficult it has been economically for many people on Sanibel and Captiva over the past few years and we know that F.I.S.H. is truly making a difference in the lives of many of our neighbors.”

The summer is a lean period for the Food Pantry because many of its regular donors and supporters leave Sanibel for the summer. The demand for the food, however, is at its highest in the summer months and F.I.S.H. finds it hard to stay well stocked.

“We have had food drives for CROW in the past and other local nonprofits,” said Belfiore-Yannie. “We work to support many charities in the community, including the Pace Center for Girls.”

Daily hot meals, emergency financial assistance, in-home visitation, health care referral, non-emergency transport on and off the island and hurricane preparedness are just some of the other services F.I.S.H. provides the community for the past 30 years.