provided to Santiva Chronicle
“COVID has put an additional strain on food insecure families relying on meals provided by their children’s schools,” said F.I.S.H. Executive Director Alicia Tighe. “It’s an extra two meals per day, per child they have become responsible for.
“The Kiwanis Club of Sanibel and Captiva have been incredible in providing FISH with emergency funding for our backpack program,” said Tighe. “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,” said Tighe. “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.”
Parents can pick up the food bags at the FISH Walk-In Center, 2430-B Periwinkle Way, from 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Monday-Friday. 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, contact FISH Food Program Director Maria Espinoza at 239-472-4775.