Year-round Weekend Food for Kids
FISH of SANCAP battles food insecurity from all angles through their variety of meal programs including their Food Pantry, Meals-by-FISH hot meal delivery, and for our youngest neighbors, the Backpack Program. According to a Feeding America study over 26,400 children in Lee County are considered food insecure, meaning they do not have access to enough affordable and nutritious food. The FISH OF SANCAP Backpack Program is designed to battle childhood hunger by providing weekend food and extra snacks for children throughout the year, including summer and school breaks.
“COVID has put an additional strain on food insecure families that rely on meals provided by their children’s schools—it’s an extra two meals per day, per child they’ve become responsible for,” says Alicia Tighe, Executive Director. “The Kiwanis Club of Sanibel and Captiva have been incredible in providing FISH with emergency funding for our kids backpack program. Thanks to Kiwanis we are now providing extra food in the backpacks as well as providing ingredients and recipe cards for a meal that families can cook together that is fresh, healthy, and kid-friendly.”
FISH is monitoring ongoing policy and economic discussions at the state and local level to proactively modify programs, including food backpacks, to meet the changing needs of vulnerable clients. “Many of our clients missed out on the end of season where they make the bulk of their annual income. Typically these meal programs are intended to be supplemental to household groceries, but we’ve realized that, due to COVID, these programs may be the vast majority of food brought into the home,” added Tighe.
The FISH food backpack program gives participating students non-perishable, nutritious foods that are easy to prepare, and great tasting, on a weekly basis. Parents can pick up the food bags at the FISH Walk-In Center located at 2430-B Periwinkle Way Monday-Friday between 10:00am and 3:45pm. The program is offered at no cost to participants. All backpacks contain protein, fruits and vegetables, snacks, milk, juice and occasionally enhanced with a sweet treat. FISH also includes organic and vegetarian choices.
For additional information, please contact Maria Espinoza, Food Program Director at FISH, 239-472-4775.