F.l.S.H. (Friends in Service Here) of the Santa Rosa Area, lnc. operates the largest and oldest independent and emergency free food pantry in Sonoma County, and is 100% staffed by volunteers, including the Executive Director and a team of approximately 50 regular volunteers. Since 1972, F.l.S.H. has worked with the community to provide quality nutritious food to people in need.
A Press Democrat article dated 12/27/23 stated “Over the past year, people who’ve never faced food insecurity in their lives have found themselves in line at one of Sonoma County’s food banks as the cost of food, gas, rent and other essentials grew to be more than they could afford.”
F.l.S.H. is currently open five days per week to offer food to people – including seniors, homeless, unemployed, low-income, disabled, and any individuals or families needing a helping hand. Proof of income or residence is not required, and there are no forms to fill out. All who ask may receive 2 bags of groceries once a month. These bags include 3 to 4 types of protein, basic canned and boxed staples, bread, and fresh produce.
Volunteers at F.l.S.H. pick up purchased food daily from the Redwood Empire Food Bank where purchasing power of $1 gains 5 pounds of healthy food for some items. Other volunteers load their personal cars with perishable food items donated from several local retail stores. A team of about forty volunteers staff the front and back of the pantry organizing and distributing the food to clients.
In 2022, F.I.S.H. served an average of 4,3O4 people per month, and in 2023 this increased by 29% to an average of 5,565 people per month. Historically approximately 35% of those helped are children. The number of people asking for assistance from FISH is expected to continue increasing because of the high cost of living in Sonoma County.
The volunteers at F.I.S.H. are dedicated to providing healthy food to all people in need of assistance. ln addition, they have a long history of offering this assistance with friendliness, dignity, and respect.
F.I.S.H. is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization with Tax lD 51-0159551. The funding for this volunteer operation depends completely on grants from local nonprofits, fundraising, and individual contributions.