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F.I.S.H. reports on assistance, programs provided in 2019

By Staff | Feb 19, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Executive Director Alicia Tighe

Focused for 38 years on “neighbors helping neighbors,” F.I.S.H of Sanibel-Captiva is a human services organization that strives to lend a helping hand to those who live, work or visit the islands.

It offers an array of food programs, island-based workshops, social services and Helping Hands.

In 2019, 20,885 service requests were answered, according to officials. F.I.S.H. impacted the lives of 5,544 individuals and 93.5 percent of donations went directly to the organization’s programming.

Some of the programming included:

– 8,364 visits to the food pantry utilized 247,903 pounds of food

– 1,160 food backpacks were distributed to youth

– 188 households received food baskets for Christmas, Easter and/or Thanksgiving

– Adopt-a-Family Programs provided holiday gifts to 156 households

– Volunteers delivered 3,260 meals to island neighbors

– Provided 332 instances of emergency financial assistance

– Clients met with department 2,502 times to resolve crises and create roadmaps

– 325 pieces of medical equipment were loaned out

– Youth attended 142 instances of after-school and/or summer programming

– 151 children received back-to-school supplies

– 399 people joined one or more Friendly Faces Luncheons

In addition, F.I.S.H. volunteer provided 7,455 hours of service and drove 34,147 miles on behalf of the organization and its clients. Volunteers drove clients to 197 appointments, both on- and off-island.

“I’m proud to say that in 2019 we were able to grow our capacity to provide services in nearly all of our programs thanks to the generosity of the Sanibel and Captiva communities,” Executive Director Alicia Tighe said. “Looking ahead, we are excited to continue to grow our programs not just in people-served or services offered, but to focus breadth and depth of what we’re providing. In particular, we’re anticipating a more multi-dimensional food pantry program, considering nutrition and wellness in all products provided; targeting issues such as senior isolation and caregiver support; and creating more viable pathways for clients to become self-sufficient through our adult scholarship program.”

For more information, contact Tighe at 239-472-4775 or visit www.fishofsancap.org.