The community that supports Lake Township FISH has to be one of the most joyous around because of its generosity! It seems we hear so much about greed in the world today at every level. In contrast, it is refreshing and uplifting to see the dedication of the donors to FISH who totally support it by giving time and resources to help those in need. During the last two months we have seen an exceptional outpouring of sharing.
Several businesses in our community continue to take the opportunity to give to FISH on a regular basis. The following donated items to FISH pantry: Giant Eagle-grocery bags, Dave Valentine and Senior Sitters-sugar, Pizza Hut-weekly pizzas and pastas, Twice Is Nice-assorted groceries, Agape Ministries and Richard Kinsley-bakery items, Neo-Fill-laundry detergent and cookbooks and Lake Community Credit Union-hundreds of grocery items.
Over the Labor Day weekend, Lake High student, Sarah Van DeWeert from Grace United Church of Christ in Uniontown, collected groceries for FISH for a National Honor Society service project. She collected and deliv-ered $15 in cash and 953 items to the pantry!
The Fourth Annual FISH Benefit Dinner was well at-tended. Two hundred thirty people attended and the fund-raiser resulted in a gain of $6,000 in funds for the organi-zation. FISH sponsors for this event were: Rembrandt Homes, Hartville Kitchen, Hartville Hardware, Yoder-Bontrager Insurance and Financial Services, Dutcher Doors, Inc., Ramsburg Insurance and Financial Insur-ances, Uniontown Lions, Advent Lutheran and Adventure Place. Because the sponsors paid for the food for the din-ners, entertainment and labor costs, 100% of the proceeds was given to FISH.
Weight Watchers of Hartville conducted a campaign, “Lose For Good” which resulted in the FISH pantry in-creasing by 300 pounds of groceries matching the 300 pounds lost by Weight Watchers members.
Other organizations in Lake Township collected groceries for FISH and these included: AARP, Girl School Troop 532 and Daisy Troop 61057. Several of the churches in Lake Township and Lake Center Christian School held “Brown Bag Food Drives” throughout September and October which added hundreds of much needed products to the pantry.
It may seem that there were a lot of donations during these last two months and indeed there were.
We are most grateful for this benevolent spirit shown. For the first 8 months of 2011, we have seen a marked increase from 2010 of 23% for food orders and 35% for other emergency assistance requested. Perhaps more signifi-cantly, the cost of groceries has increased dramatically. The groceries FISH distributes are now valued at 49% more than last year. Part of the increase was due to the bakery items, pizzas, eggs and fresh produce that were added to the food orders.
As a reminder, FISH pays for two items in each food order: a Giant Eagle gift card for $10 or $15 (depending on the size of the family) and ground beef. All other contents in the orders, including food, toiletries, paper products and soaps are donated. To all who have chosen to be a part of this organization to help the needy in our community, we extend heartfelt thanks.