F.I.S.H. of Santa Rosa A Food Pantry For All
NEWSLETTER – FEBRUARY 2017
Dear Friends of F.I.S.H.,
At F.I.S.H. of Santa Rosa, most years are eventful and 2016 was no exception. During the year, we helped to feed a little above 58,000 people in just over 15,700 households. This was very similar to 2015. While the number of children in the households served remained just under 40%, seniors served increased 13%. However, total poundage of food given our clients increased substantially to just under 750,000 pounds, a record amount. The biggest reason for this was a large increase in food donated by some grocers and the Redwood Empire Food Bank. This increase of donated food from these organizations during 2016 was over 125,000 pounds. WOW! Obviously, this resulted in a substantial increase in good well balanced food for our clients last year. Our thanks to the Redwood Empire Food Bank for the increased donations of fresh produce this past year. They donated almost 100,000 pounds of free food.
Our Holiday Meats program was again very successful. During the four plus days each in November and December 743 families with over 3,000 folks received a turkey or other meat for the holidays. Our thanks to those of you who donated money or turkeys for this program. One of our grocers donated more than 60 turkeys. We spent almost $9,000 purchasing holiday meats. For the first time in memory, we had turkeys left over and made some clients happy just before New Year's.
Our money donations for our food account during 2016 were very good. Our food purchases during the year amounted to $65,000. Our donations for rent and overhead were $10,000 less than our rent and overhead costs of $25,000.
As stated above, our food donations from grocers were our best ever. We depend on these donations in order to regularly provide meat, dairy and a good amount of fresh produce to our clients. We would like to highlight some of the grocers who donate substantial amounts of this food. Trader Joe's on Cleveland Ave. is our largest contributor of food and two Whole Foods stores (Yulupa & Coddingtown) along with Safeway on Mendocino Ave. are large food donors. Others include two Target stores (Coddingtown & Rohnert Park) and Grocery Outlet in Santa Rosa. All of these grocers and, others, are a big part of why F.I.S.H. is able to provide such a lot of wholesome food to our clients. We are very grateful for the generosity of these grocers.
As always, we are so grateful to all of the wonderful organizations and people in this community who help us do what we do to help needy people Thank you all.
F.l.S.H. Board of Directors
Jeanne-Marie Jones, Director
F.l.S.H. of Santa Rosa is an independent all-volunteer non-profit serving Sonoma County since 1972
NEWSLETTER – JULY 2017
Dear Friends of F.I.S.H.,
It is with great pleasure that I assume the position of Executive Director of F.I.S.H. of Santa Rosa. I have long been committed to alleviating hunger in this abundant county where we live. Here at F.I.S.H. our group of volunteers strives daily to serve those in need with wholesome groceries. Each client is treated with dignity and respect and the hope that we can help them cope with their situation. We serve families, seniors, disabled, unemployed, working neighbors and the homeless. No questions are asked and there are no forms to fill out. The only qualification is the need for food. F.I.S.H. is a non-profit 501c3 organization operated entirely by volunteers and 100% dependent on donations of food and money. We are always in need of volunteers...come and join our team! Your interest in, and support of F.I.S.H. is greatly appreciated as we continue to serve all of Sonoma County.
During the first half of 2017, the number of people provided with free food was very similar to that of 2016. We served a total of 28,685 people in 7,800 households during the first 6 months of 2017. The number of children served was 10,551. We continue to see an increase in the number of seniors coming to F.I.S.H. During this same period during 2016, we saw an increase in seniors of 13% compared to the year before, while during 2017 we saw another increase of 12%.
Starting in 2016 and continuing during 2017, we have made a concerted effort to increase the amount of protein based foods we provide to every household. These items include eggs and canned tuna in addition to meats and other items.
Helping in this effort, we have received three Grants from community based organizations during the first six months of 2017. We received a Grant from the Santa Rosa Rotary Club Foundation of $1,500. With this Grant alone, we were able to purchase 1,248 cans of tuna and 3,600 cans of soup. Yes, that number is correct. The soup was purchased from our partner, the Redwood Empire Food Bank at very low cost. We also received a
$2,000 Grant from Bank of America Charitable Foundation. We recently received a Julia L. Grant Basic Human Needs Grant of $9,000 from Community Foundation, Sonoma County, an organization that has helped support
F.I.S.H. for a number of years. We are very grateful to all of these organizations for their help in feeding the hungry in Sonoma County.
The annual U.S. Postal Carriers food drive was held this past May. You will recall that we receive all of the food collected by Carriers working out of the McBride Annex in Santa Rosa. Last year we reported that we received a total of 8,848 pound of food, one of the lowest totals in memory. We are pleased to advise that this year's total increased to a little more than 14,000 pounds of food, a more than 60% increase. Needless to say, we were very pleased and thankful to the Carriers for their effort.
F.I.S.H. Board of Directors
Kaarin Lee, Executive Director
F.I.S.H. of Santa Rosa is an independent all-volunteer non-profit serving Sonoma County since 1972
NEWSLETTER - OCTOBER 2017
Dear Friends of F.I.S.H.
Fall — the season of crisp mornings and evenings with milder temperatures in the afternoons — brings the coming holidays to mind. As our thoughts turn to home and hearth, we feel enormous gratitude for the support of our F.I.S.H. community.
First and foremost we appreciate the many volunteers who work tirelessly to help feed our neighbors. From the drivers who pick up the donations from our generous merchants — Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Safeway, Target, Grocery Outlet Big Lots and more — to the receiving room volunteers who sort and organize the incoming groceries, to the baggers who pack the food to the door people who dispense the food, to the dispatchers who take calls from clients, every volunteer arrives with a smile, eager to make the lives of our clients a little easier. Many donors of fresh produce help us to maintain our standards by providing wholesome food to our clients. These indispensible volunteers embody the compassion and community that makes F.I.S.H. possible.
Our monetary donors are angels who put wind in our wings. Their donations of money help us purchase food from Redwood Empire Food Bank at reduced cost. Some folks designate their contributions to help us pay the rent each month, keeping a roof over our heads.
We thank the group of neighborhood women who started a grass roots campaign, Benton Street Improvement Association. They produced yard signs to promote tolerance and inclusion, inspired messages to lift us. They sold the signs and donated all proceeds to F.I.S.H. of Santa Rosa.
The Bethlehem Lutheran Church’s Annual Pasta Dinner raises funds for F.I.S.H. and it has become our single largest fundraising event. Many members of the congregation work hard to create a lively auction and dinner; they sell out each year.
We are inspired by Sara Bens, a young member of our community who wanted to do something to alleviate hunger. She searched our website http://www.fish-of-santa-rosa.org and found our wish list of groceries. Then she gathered 30 pounds of food and went to Safeway where she purchased another $100 of staples.
On behalf of the Board of Directors and myself, we thank YOU, our loyal supporters who make it possible for us to serve 5,000 people each month, half of them children. Your continued support has allowed us to initiate a home delivery program for seniors and handicapped neighbors.