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F.I.S.H. food pantry is going green

By Staff | Oct 2, 2019

As of Oct. 1, F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva is no longer providing plastic grocery bags for its Food Pantry Program. Thanks to the generosity of Bailey’s General Store, F.I.S.H. is distributing 150 reusable grocery bags to clients to bring with them for their shopping needs.

“As an organization on a sanctuary island, we feel it’s important to find ways, even when seemingly small, to do our part in combatting waste and cutting down on single-use plastics,” Executive Director Alicia Tighe said. “We’re hoping by making a small step, it will also raise awareness and encourage clients to be mindful of the waste they’re producing in their homes and live a little greener.”

In 2018, food pantry visits totaled 7,845 from 874 households, and resulted in 206,278 pounds of food distributed. F.I.S.H. works through donations and with the assistance of a robust volunteer team to combat food insecurity on Sanibel and Captiva, as well as Lee County.

For clients – anyone residing in Lee County – realizing they cannot provide one of the most basic survival needs can be a humbling experience. As a wrap-around service provider, when individuals or families come for the first time to use the pantry, they speak with a staff member to determine their needs and learn about other F.I.S.H. programs that can put them on a pathway to self-sustainability.

Depending a client’s circumstance, they may visit the pantry weekly (with a residential or work connection to Sanibel-Captiva) or once monthly (with no connection to the islands). The F.I.S.H. Food Pantry is a choice pantry, open from 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Monday to Friday. The hours of operation allow participants greater access to the pantry by accommodating non-traditional schedules.

Should earlier morning or later afternoon times be required, clients may work with staff.

For more information, contact Maria Espinoza at 239-472-4775.