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F.I.S.H. reports on assistance, programs provided in 2018

February 12, 2019
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Focused for 37 years on "neighbors helping neighbors," F.I.S.H of Sanibel-Captiva is a human services organization that strives to lend a helping hand to those who live, work or visit the islands.

It offers an array of food programs, island-based workshops, social services and Helping Hands.

In 2018, 18,713 service requests were answered, according to officials. F.I.S.H. impacted the lives of 5,786 individuals - a 46 percent increase over 2017 - where 93.1 percent of all donations go directly.

Article Photos

Some of the programming included:

FOOD PROGRAMS

- 7,845 visits to the food pantry utilized 206,278 pounds of food

- 1,028 food backpacks were distributed to youth

- Volunteers delivered 3,273 meals to island neighbors

ISLAND-BASED

F.I.S.H. thanked all of its volunteers for providing 7,065 hours of service and for driving 33,797 miles on behalf of the organization and its clients.

SOCIAL SERVICES

- 1,069 reassurance calls were made to vulnerable island residents

- Social workers provided 1,499 instances of counseling and case management

- 488 households requested assistance and/or case management through the Disaster Relief Program for red tide and blue-green algae

- 177 households received a Hurricane Preparedness Resource Packet

HELPING HANDS

- Provided 236 instances of emergency financial assistance

- Youth assisted with 64 scholarships for educational-camp

- Adult and youth were provided with 23 opportunities for betterment through the Adult Education Scholarship and Youth Tutoring Programs

One of F.I.S.H.'s most vital services, the food pantry experienced a larger than anticipated increase in 2018 in families served and poundage distributed, largely due to the red tide and blue-green algae events, where many lost jobs and work hours for months.

Other examples of successes included:

- One woman who graduated with a bachelor's degree through the Adult Education Scholarship Program

- One family paying down their debt with help from financial education seminars

- One mother able to make healthy meals for her three children with supplemental groceries provided by the food pantry

- One woman able to keep her home on Sanibel thanks to emergency financial assistance and employment seeking skills learned through F.I.S.H. programs

"These are just a sampling of the outcomes we see daily at F.I.S.H. With that being said, however, we are still witnessing increasing client requests in most every area of service. Meals-by-F.I.S.H., equipment requests, transportation - there is rarely a lull at F.I.S.H.," President Maggi Feiner said. "In 2018, we realized the necessity to hire additional staff to better manage and streamline procedures for our programs. We are now a team of eight; seven full-time and one part-time professional, who are deeply engaged and passionate about our island neighbors' well-being and our community."

For more information, call 239-472-4775 or visit www.fishofsancap.org.

 
 

 

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