Although the holidays have come and gone, the spirit of giving and heartfelt appreciation continue with FISH OF SANCAP’s programs and services.
Heidi Cutler, whose name has been changed for privacy purposes, is a senior woman living on Sanibel for many years. She no longer works and lives modestly with social security being her only source of income. “I’m in pretty good health, given my age,” says Cutler. “I’m grateful to have a roof over my head and for the support I receive from friends, particularly those as FISH.”
Cutler is a participant in the Meals-by-FISH program, a service offered by the organization that provides one hot, nutritious meal per day, up to 5 days/week, including extras for the weekend to island neighbors. Meals, prepared by Jerry’s Foods, consist of a protein, starch and vegetable and are provided to anyone currently living on Sanibel or Captiva who request the service. “FISH helps me with the cost, since I am on a fixed income. For that, I am truly grateful,” continues Cutler.
The FISH meals program is not the only FISH service Cutler enjoys. She received furnishings and household items to replace what was lost from Ian, uses the food pantry and enjoys weekly visits from FISH volunteers who bring her water and supplemental snacks.
Cutler reports she regularly attends the Friendly Faces luncheon and receives an occasional smile box, which ‘brightens her day’. For the 2023 winter holiday, Cutler was added to the Sponsor a Senior gift program. The program, specifically for the islands’ senior population, was designed to bring merriment and cheer to island elders. FISH provided personalized holiday gifts specifically requested by the participant for the holiday.
“I cannot praise FISH enough for everything they do for me and others. The gifts I received for the holiday were perfect and it made me feel seen and heard. Erika at FISH really cares about us older people.”
Erika Broyles, FISH OF SANCAP’s Senior Services Director, works daily overseeing programs and services as they relate to the community’s senior population. At FISH, these include social and educational offerings, food programs, financial assistance and support and healthcare related programs including equipment for loan and mental health counseling.
FISH OF SANCAP is Sanibel and Captiva Islands complete wrap around social service organization serving those that live on, work on or visit the islands. Started over 40 years ago, FISH continues to grow to meet the demands of the community, offering programs ranging from long-term disaster recovery and emergency financial assistance to a food pantry; educational workshops, senior programs and more.
FISH’s target population is anyone who lives or works on Sanibel and Captiva Islands, including the most vulnerable senior population. FISH offers something for everyone—if there is not a service in place for unmet needs of community members, they work to meet it through existing and new partnerships. If you or someone you know is in need of service, please contact FISH at (239) 472-4775.