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Sanibel Island Farmers Market to again helps neighbors

By Staff | Sep 25, 2018

PHOTO PROVIDED

F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva will once again partner with the Sanibel Island Farmers Market.

Betsy Ventura and Jean Baer, co-managers of the market, organize the weekly event throughout its season. At their suggestion, vendors pack boxes of unsold fruits, vegetables and other food offerings for the F.I.S.H. Food Pantry at the end of every Sunday market. F.I.S.H. volunteers pick up, then unload and sort the donations at the pantry, at 2430 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.

Pantry participants are thrilled to receive the fruits, vegetables, breads, cheeses and other items.

“We are looking forward to assisting in loading up the F.I.S.H. pantry. These have been tough days for our community, and we are here to work together with F.I.S.H.,” Ventura said. “Anything we can do to help, please reach out. Issac and the entire Gallego family will be joining us again this season and we’re all excited to help out.”

F.I.S.H. President Maggi Feiner said the non-profit and its client greatly appreciate the generosity.

“We cannot thank Betsy and Jean enough for encouraging the vendors to supply healthy choices for our clients. Their continued support and eagerness to find fresh ways to support F.I.S.H. is an integral part of the success of our food pantry,” she said.

“If you don’t have access to or cannot afford healthy food, you can develop health issues,” Feiner added. “This partnership gives people the dignity and choice of what they enjoy eating, while focusing on food that can really nurture the body and brain and help people struggling with food to eat healthier.”

Walk-In Center Manager Maria Espinoza noted the summer has been tough on the pantry.

“We have seen so many new households apply due to the red tide crisis. We’ve had a really hard time keeping our shelves stocked,” she said. “The addition of fresh products and other donations from the Farmers Market will really help out.”

“Kudos to our volunteer teams, many of which include island youth earning community service hours, who pick up from the market and organize our food pantry on Sunday afternoons,” Espinoza added. “We could not provide these wonderful healthy foods to our community without their help.”

The F.I.S.H. Food Pantry is open from 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Monday through Friday. Those wishing to participate in the pantry program must reside in Lee County and complete an intake form annually.

For more information, visit fishofsancap.org or call 239-472-4775.