Helping Neighbors: The F.I.S.H. food pantry
F.I.S.H. OF SANCAP, a social services agency established over 30 years ago, is a full service community organization. Some may wonder what FISH stands for, and in June, 2015 FISH officially launched the unveiling of its brand identity aiming to deliver the agency’s mission to build a stronger connection with the community. At the heart of the brand is the FISH acronym spelled out to express what the agency provides. Food Programs, the ‘F’ of the FISH acronym, is one of the agency’s focal points, and includes several food related programs such as the islands only food pantry. Other food related programs will be publicized in future stories.
Hunger is an ongoing problem, and the face of hunger in our community is changing and continues to grow. Working families and seniors have been hard hit, and our neighbors need help. FISH, in partnership with Harry Chapin Food Bank, is committed to making sure that island neighbors can get food in a dignified manner through their ‘choice’ food pantry, and in a way that serves as a real safety net for those who fall on difficult times. Food insecurity is caused by, and has effects on, important areas of our lives—our families, children, environment, economy, communities and health. Not having enough to eat and not having good quality, nutritious food can have short- and long-term effects on mental and physical health. Every day, FISH works to fight hunger in our community through their Food Pantry program. The FISH Food Pantry is the only resource of its kind on Sanibel and Captiva Islands; the next closest food pantry is at least a 20 mile trip into Fort Myers. For those that are struggling to afford food for themselves or their family, FISH is there to assist. The FISH Food Pantry might very well be what keeps our neighbors going until a change in their lives can be seen on the horizon. Until that time comes, maximizing the effectiveness of FISH is the greatest chance at hand to reduce the impact of food insecurity and disassemble the cycle of hunger afflicting so many in our community. Here’s how FISH has helped a working family of four:
“When my family faced enormous medical bills that sent us into thousands of dollars of debt, even in spite of my husband’s full-time job and health care coverage, it felt like we were drowning. Sometimes, after paying our mortgage, monthly utility bills, transportation and child care expenses, we would have $250 or less left in the bank; far from enough to feed a family of four for the month. When we discovered the FISH Food Pantry and began going for groceries there each month, it was very humbling, but so relieving. The food pantry is the reason we’re getting by. The meats, dairy products, and fresh produce we get each month keep my family happy and healthy. Now that I have found a second job, we're slowly getting back on our feet. With our monthly relief from the food pantry, our family has been able to weather this difficult period together.
FISH relies on community support to fund programs and accepts unopened, unexpired food items which are available to families who live, work or visit here. 100% of all contributions are used by FISH to support its mission. F.I.S.H. OF SANCAP is a United Way house and an equal opportunity provider.