FISH Provides Back to School Essentials

Our children need your help!  The new school year for Lee County begins August 10 and many families cannot afford essential items.  FISH helps families in need with school supplies and some clothing to begin their new school year.   Beginning July 1-29, members of the community can drop off basic school supplies between 8:00am-4:00pm at the FISH Walk-In Center located at 2430-B Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.  School supply items such as paper, glue sticks, pens, pencils, rulers, notebooks, etc. are requested.  The organization is also accepting new socks and underwear for boys and girls in grades K-12, as well as monetary donations, to ensure enough supplies are available on distribution day.  Donations can be dropped off at the FISH Walk-In Center located at 2430 Periwinkle Way Suite B.  For additional information, contact Manuela Martinez, Program Coordinator, FISH, 239-472-4775.

“I don’t know how I’m going to be able to get all the supplies and clothes for my three kids and continue to make ends meet,” says one mom as she signs up for the Back-to-School program.  “Everything has gone up in price.  It’s a daily struggle for all of us.” According to the National Retail Federation, last year families with children spent $59 more than in years past, on average, for back-to-school items.

In 2021, the FISH school supplies drive assisted 295 students with essential items and the organization expects an increase in requests this year. “We are extremely grateful to our community for their assistance and contributions to our drive,” continues Espinoza. “With the support of businesses, service clubs and individuals, students will feel confident and organized for the school year.”

 “With the ongoing COVID and inflation crises, our neighbors are struggling to make ends meet,” says Maria Espinoza, Executive Director, FISH.  “Many households are making tough financial decisions as we all wait to see what will happen with increasing food and gas costs in particular.” FISH reports most all of those seeking assistance state ongoing inflation and reduced work hours due to slow season as the top two explanations of financial struggle.

Studies show that having the right school supplies can help children feel more prepared and less anxious as they return to on-campus learning.  Children that arrive equipped for the school day feel more confident in their ability to function in the classroom.

Additional financial assistance for specialized equipment, scientific calculators, SAT prep books, instruments, clothing and school uniforms, etc. may be available to those showing a financial need. Please contact FISH for additional information.