As some of you may know, FISH began almost 50 years ago in 1971. Through 50 years of service to the community, we have learned some things.
Our clients are important people and it’s we who serve them.
Our clients come from all over the county. They come in all sizes, shapes, abilities and with different needs. Ask any Grocery Guide who leads people through the pantry to help them get their groceries, and they will tell you:
I am more blessed then they are [by our interactions].
– F. C.
We help about 450 families find groceries in a month. That represents about 1,100 individuals. Each one of them has a story, and each one needs help from us, and from others, to keep from being hungry. We understand that each one’s needs are important and deserve our attention. Our volunteers provide that for our clients.
Today we had our first experience needing to use the food bank. It is very humbling to see the smiling faces of those who have given their time and efforts to help needy families and individuals in the community. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and will be finding out how I can best lend a hand keep the food bank stocked when I and my family are more stable. Thank you for the compassionate service you provide the community.
– E. S. J.
Our community is incredibly generous.
To begin with, let me give you a large number, 71%. Yep, that’s large in the donation world. That represents nearly three quarts of our donations. Where do they come from? From you! Those are our “Gift it Kind” donations. That’s the food that comes into FISH, through Second Harvest, local grocery stores and restaurants and you. The community – just you – gives 31,056 pounds A MONTH!! That food goes directly to those who need it. Give yourselves a pat on the back!
People are hungry for more than just food.
The Open Table program serves about 145 meals a day. That is just over 2,000 meals a month or 24,500 a year. That’s a lot of food. Many people don’t realize that we serve so many meals here at FISH; it’s the pantry that gets the attention. But Open Table serves our community as well, providing more than just food.
Open table allows people to come in out of the cold or the heat and get the food they need for free. During the Wednesday meal there is live music for entertainment. Bus most importantly there’s the people.
Open Table is a place where the homeless can sit in peace and safety. It’s a place where the seniors can find others in their same position, maybe alone and lonely. Where the college students can eat and study. Where anyone can find a laugh and an interesting conversation.
Our meals bring joy and companionship to many people each week. We have drop-ins and loyals from all walks of life. And the food is good too!
Divine Intervention is real.
There are small miracles at FISH every day. Whether it’s a simple thing, like helping someone sign up, or a large thing, like having just the right food come in from a donation, miracles happen here all the time. When we need a volunteer for a particular shift, suddenly someone will need that shift. When are short on ravioli, someone will call from Costco asking what they can buy for us.
Small miracles add up to a great ministry. While we don’t preach here, we are aware of God’s presence at FISH and are very grateful for it. All of our clients, whatever their religious persuasion, benefit from this Grace.
I have seen more divine intervention in the last two years then I have in the rest of my life.
– Peggy Morache, Executive Director
Those who serve do so with a passion.
Working at a non-profit has a reputation of being hard and thankless. Nothing can be further from the truth! Working at a non-profit is rewarding far beyond the toil it takes. I wake up thankful everyday that I can make a difference and love my job! I’m not the only one. Each of the staff here contributes because they love our clients, they love our mission and they love our team.
It’s not just the staff either! Volunteers tell us over and over how much they enjoy working here. Many of our community service volunteers put in their hours, then take a shift to work regularly. There is so much camaraderie and chance for laughter in our volunteers that it’s a joy to be with them.
The people who contribute to FISH do so because they love the fun, they love the work and most of all – they love their neighbors.
FISH teaches us many things. The longer we last, the better we get. Thank you for supporting us.