New Life Assembly is one of the sponsor churches for FISH Food Bank so we were happy to read the following announcement.
When the FISH Community Food Bank opened its doors in 1971, it served around 500 people a year. These days, it’s not unusual to serve nearly 500 people a week.
Simply put, FISH feeds people, and a lot of them. So when FISH at Snickelldoodles burned late last year, many folks wondered where their next meal would come from.
The community stepped up and filled in the gap in an enormous way. Through overwhelming donations we didn’t miss a regularly scheduled distribution. Some of our clients even returned their food to help those in more urgent need. Hungry people continued to receive food, and FISH made plans to rebuild. We were going to be okay – all of us – yet we weren’t prepared for what would happen next.
Our temporary landlord, Mercer Creek Church, made us a most unexpected and generous offer: a permanent home on their campus, with room to grow, and all of it rent-free. The church saw it as a tangible way to help serve the community. We saw it as an unexpected answer to prayer.
After a lot of conversation and more prayer, FISH has accepted the offer. We’re excited about our new home at Mercer Creek and would like to share the advantages of staying there with you:
We’re serving more people. The numbers continue to grow. Everyone who comes through our doors has a different story, and those stories are often complicated. But as we serve more people, we’re watching our community grow stronger…one meal, one conversation, and one connection at a time.
We’re seeing more needs. FISH is about more than food. We see the whole person and look for ways to meet needs beyond the surface. With issues of illness, joblessness, and other unexpected life-changes, our clients often face a terrible choice between paying for food or for something else vital to their family’s survival. We can’t solve every problem, but we help when and where we can – and so do all of you who donate time and goods to FISH.
We’re working more effectively. Our new home has parking, and a lot of it. This means it’s easier and safer for donors to drop off goods and for clients to pick them up. It’s also safer and more convenient for our staff. In addition, with more space inside and out, we can store more goods, give more aid, and serve more meals to the hungry.
We’re looking to the future. Planning is still in progress, but some day the current Mercer Creek campus will become a hub for local community service organizations that share a common goal of meeting urgent needs while helping people restore their humanity. FISH will remain autonomous at MCC and will continue to expand services for our community.
The fire took away most every physical thing FISH had, but now there is so much more: More community ties. More resources. More possibilities. With the savings from future rent payments, FISH will be able to strengthen operations and manage financial resources.
While the needs are great and the fire was costly, the blessings of God in all of this are clear. As the Apostle Paul says in Romans 8:28, “…we know that in all things God works for the good of those who
love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” We hope you will join us in that calling to serve the hungry and care for those in need.
Peg Coble, FISH Board President, on behalf of the FISH BOD
Roger McCune, FISH Executive Director, on behalf of the FISH Staff