Farmer’s Market Donates to FISH Food Pantry

FISH and The Sanibel Farmer’s Market join forces annually, providing fresh products to neighbors who use the FISH Food Pantry.   Betsy Ventura and Jean Baer, owners of Local Roots, LLC, organize the Sanibel market throughout the season and team up with vendors who agreed to donate unsold fruits, vegetables and goodies to the food pantry.  FISH volunteers pick-up, sort and stock donated items at the Food Pantry, located at 2430-B Periwinkle Way.   

“FISH and our neighbors greatly appreciate the generosity of the Farmer’s Market.  We cannot thank Betsy, Jean and the generous vendors enough for helping supply healthy choices for those that use our Pantry,” said Maggi Feiner, FISH President & CEO.  “We could not provide these wonderful foods to our community without our partnership with the Market and the help of our volunteers.  Thank you Betsy and Jean for another successful year and continued support for our community’s only food pantry.”

People are often surprised to hear the island communities are home to food assistance programs. They are even more surprised to hear how often these food programs are utilized by a wide range of people with varied circumstances. No community is immune to food insecurity, and FISH works daily to ensure that no islander is deciding between feeding their family or paying rent, childcare or medical bills.

The upcoming slower summer months generally deplete pantry shelves.  This time of year the Food Pantry needs help and accepts donations of food, including perishables, personal products, and other items.  Personal and hygiene products not covered by the SNAP Program but are needed on daily basis.  These items include shampoo/conditioner, body soap, toothpaste, laundry/cleaning products, paper towels and bathroom tissue, and sanitizing products.

Perishables and items can be dropped off at the Walk-In Center Mon.-Fri., 8a-4p. During non-business hours, individuals may leave unopened, unexpired non-perishable food and other items in the drop-off bin located outside the Walk-In Center entrance.    FISH is always in need of:

  • Canned Products:  Tuna, Chicken, Vegetables; Soup or Broth; Fruits; Fruit and Vegetable Juices, including Juice Boxes; Jelly; Pork & Beans; Stews & Other Meats
  • Packaged Foods:  Pasta, Lentils, Pinto and other beans; Macaroni & Cheese & Packaged Dinners; Instant Soups; Hot and Cold Cereals; Peanut Butter & other Nut Butters; Nutritional Bars: protein, granola, energy or breakfast bars

The FISH Food Pantry is a vital service for many households.  Once qualified by FISH, households are given a food pantry card to shop for items to supplement their grocery needs.  FISH offers nutritious supplemental groceries five days a week from 10a–3:45p allowing islanders to shop for the resources they need. Each year, FISH distributes hundreds of thousands of pounds of food through pantry visits serving thousands of people.

To learn more about the organization or investigate volunteer activities, especially needed over the summer months, contact Maria Espinoza, Asst. Executive Director, or Jennifer Pagano, Walk-in Center Manager, at .