This year, local food security organization Fauquier FISH turns 40 – a significant milestone for a non-profit with humble beginnings. FISH (For Immediate Sympathetic Help), began in 1983 as a church-based food closet serving dozens across the county. Over time, with increased funding and due to the sheer tenacity of countless volunteers, FISH is now providing food to over 5,000 of Fauquier’s ‘neighbors in need’ each year. Programming includes a nutrition-focused food pantry; weekend, holiday, and summer break food for school children; senior meal deliveries; holiday food baskets; and a farmer’s market voucher program. In addition, the organization facilitates an annual book bag school supply.
FISH’s growth over the past decade has caused the organization to undergo a number of significant changes. Fauquier County has provided a temporary trailer located at 24 Pelham St for FISH’s flagship program, the food pantry, for the past thirty years, while the Weekend Power Pack program operated out of a satellite classroom at PB Smith Elementary School. In 2020, warehouse space was leased to accommodate the Weekend Power Pack Program which had rapidly expanded to distributing food to over three hundred school children each week. Despite these changes, one thing remained consistent – FISH’s programs were never located in the same physical space. Until now.
This weekend, Fauquier FISH will move into a 5,400sq ft. office/warehouse space – located at 680A Industrial Road (across the street from Wal-Mart). This move represents a historical moment for the organization which has spent nearly 10 years searching for a new home.
Throughout this time FISH staff and volunteers have continued to work through the challenges of running programs out of multiple, physically separate spaces. Executive Director, Charity Furness underscored the importance of this move stating, “Being able to come together under one roof is a game-changer for our organization. This will increase our efficiency and impact by leaps and bounds. We are excited for our volunteers, clients, and the community to join us on this next step in Fauquier FISH’s journey!”
FISH will move into their new home the weekend of February 18th, with doors officially opening to food pantry clients Tuesday February 21st from 9:30 am -12:00 pm. An official ribbon cutting ceremony will be scheduled for the spring.
Those interested in volunteering with FISH email email@example.com. Those interested in making monetary donations may visit: http://www.fauquierfish.org/newsite/give-funds.