Helping Neighbors: Bare Shelves at the F.I.S.H. Food Pantry
Food pantries are supposed to provide a safety net for those who need a helping hand, but now, the F.I.S.H. OF SANCAP Food Pantry needs your help.
The F.I.S.H. Food Pantry makes a real difference to our neighbors and those that work on our islands. But during the summer months, when many return to their up north homes, the nonprofit struggles. Says President & CEO Maggi Feiner, “Summer months are particularly difficult for us. Many of our neighbors needing a hand up lose work hours in our off-season months. Yet their bills still need to be paid, and they still need to feed their children, who are now at home and not benefiting from school provided meals. We try to purchase what we can on a limited budget to help our neighbors.”
Volunteers say normally the shelves flow with food, especially during seasonal (October through April) months. Recently, though, there’s not been much to stock, and people leave with less than they had hoped for. And that’s hard on everyone, especially the children and elderly folks that visit the pantry and rely on certain items being available.
Walk-In Center Manager Maria Espinoza says, "Maybe it’s just this time of year, but it’s been the last several months that we've struggled to keep our pantry stocked. And with the end of the Sanibel Farmer’s Market season, we don’t see any fresh fruits or vegetables being donated, which so many looked forward to and needed to keep their household nutritionally balanced. We are thankful for those that host collection/drop off sites as well as food drives throughout the year on behalf of F.I.S.H."
Please donate unopened, unexpired, nonperishable items to the F.I.S.H. Food Pantry at one of the collection sites below. If your business or establishment would like to lend a hand by becoming a F.I.S.H. Food Pantry collection site, please contact Maria Espinoza, Walk-In Center Manager at 239-472-4775.
Bailey’s General Store Drop Off Bin, available during store hours
Bank of the Islands Drop Off Bin, available during bank hours
F.I.S.H. Drop Off Bin, available 24/7, located outside the Walk-In Center entrance
Sanibel Fire Department Station 171, 2351 Palm Ridge Road, available 24/7 (There’s a bell right outside that donors can ring for drop offs after 4:30 p.m. If they are out on a call, the items can be dropped at the front door)
South Seas Main Gate Drop Off Bin, available 24/7
Perishable items may be brought to the F.I.S.H. Walk-In Center, located at 2430-B Periwinkle Way, between 8:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
The F.I.S.H. OF SANCAP Food Pantry is choice pantry where individuals may supplemental their grocery needs. Those that qualify can utilize the food pantry M-F from 10 a.m. – 3:45 p.m. If you are interested in learning more about this program, please contact Maria Espinoza, Walk-In Center Manager, at (239) 472-4775.