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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.

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Some of the programming included:


- 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


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.


- 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


- 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



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