FISH’s mission is to deliver groceries to homebound neighbors who are experiencing food insecurity in Greater New Haven. Our goal is to alleviate the physical, emotional, and financial stress caused by food insecurity by delivering nutritious groceries to our clients in Greater New Haven. FISH is the only agency in the area to deliver free food directly to clients’ doors. FISH of Greater New Haven remains a social service organization that is non-profit and non-denominational. And relies on donations from the community to serve over 2,000 individuals every month.
FISH of Greater New Haven has two programs; The Grocery Delivery Program and the Pantry-to-Pantry Program. Both pantries share the goal of providing grocery delivery services to homebound residents who are disabled or elderly: however, Pantry to Pantry also delivers to residents who are immunocompromised and are homebound due to the COVID pandemic. Both programs have dedicated volunteers who help pack and deliver healthful groceries. Bags of groceries for both programs normally contain shelf-stable items, grains, dairy, and fresh produce.
FISH is a private, nonprofit and non-denominational social service organization. The idea of FISH started from a network of neighbors helping neighbors that started in 1961 in Oxford, England. The fish emblem that they chose is an ancient symbol of concern and caring. We remain committed to helping our neighbors.
FISH came to New Haven in 1968. It was organized by a group of concerned members of Saint John’s Episcopal Church in North Haven, Dunbar United Church in Hamden, and Christian Community Action Agency in New Haven. These individuals wished to begin a program for serving the needy in the community so FISH became formally incorporated on February 21, 1968, at a meeting held in the storefront of Christian Community Action.
In the beginning, volunteers provided hot meals, transportation to medical appointments, baby-sitting and accommodations in emergency situations. Volunteers offered help 24 hours a day through a telephone answering service. Since other agencies now provide many of these services, FISH continues its services by providing free bags of non-perishable groceries directly to the homes of people in need of our assistance.
2020 Board Members
- Dan Shelter, President
- Sunny Nariyani, Vice President
- Robert Siegler, Co-Treasurer
- Edward Simon, Co-Treasurer
- Gabrielle Joyce, Secretary
- Nilakshi Parndigamage
- Sarah Welinsky
- Mina Williamson
- Lauren Zimmerman
- John Cesaroni
- Julia Hunt Bogardus
- Presidents Emeriti: Steven Werlin, Susan Redente
- Treasurers Emeriti: Norman Choiniere, John Gallagher
FISH is a pantry that delivers to 1200 households each month, representing over 2000 individuals. FISH’s has two programs that cater to homebound individuals in the Greater New Haven area, the Grocery Delivery Program and the Pantry-to-Pantry program. Every month, our programs provide groceries to homebound individuals who are elderly, disabled, or injured in such a way that makes it difficult to leave their homes. The Pantry-to-Pantry program focuses on those who are immunodeficient and cannot leave their homes due to the possible hazard of getting COVID and other illnesses. Our volunteer drivers deliver groceries to clients’ homes, providing fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy, nuts, juices, and shelf stable items to their front doors.
- The Grocery Delivery Program:Despite the challenges brought forth by COVID in 2020, The Grocery Delivery Program made 5,681 deliveries, which provided 196,569 meals to 928 unduplicated individuals, including children.A demographic breakdown of those we served last year:Age Groups
- Seniors: 373
- Adults: 356
- Children: 198
- Male: 345
- Female: 583
- Asian: 3
- Black: 527
- Hispanic: 162
- White: 206
- Other: 27
Pantry to Pantry Program
The Pantry-to-Pantry program began to operate under FISH of Greater New Haven on September 1st, 2020. The program was born out of need for food security in Greater New Haven due to COVID’s negative economic impact. In four months, from September 1st – December 31, Pantry-to-Pantry made 4,292 deliveries, which provided 121,122 meals, for 2,240 individuals, including children.
A demographic breakdown of those we served from September – December 2020:
- Adults: 1,084
- Children: 725
- Male: 903
- Female: 1,337
- Asian: 11
- Black: 431
- Hispanic: 1,424
- White: 304
- Other: 70
Dan runs the quality assurance department at the Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC) and has a background in nonprofit management and data science. He is the current President of the board.
Sunny joined FISH in 2018 as a volunteer, wanting to help families have access to nutritious food in his community. He then became a board member and now serves as Vice President on the board, as well as Chair of the Fund Development Committee. Sunny lives in New Haven and works as a marketing executive in the financial services industry.
Ed has been volunteering for FISH since 2017, and has been an active board member since 2018 and is currently Co-Treasurer. He joined FISH with a believe in their mission statement, and has seen firsthand how FISH provides health and stability to those in our community.
Bob is a retired Mechanical Engineer with 45 years of professional experience. He joined the FISH board a year after volunteering to deliver groceries for FISH, with the hope of continuing to make a difference in the lives of local families with food insecurity. Bob has been an active board member for many years and is currently Co-Treasurer.
John Cesaroni is an attorney at Zeisler & Zeisler, P.C. in Bridgeport where he specializes in business litigation and insolvency. He has been a member of the board of FISH since 2016
Lauren Zimmermann serves as the Director of Strategy and Operations for Supportive Housing Works, a nonprofit that harnesses the power of collective impact to provide equitable access to housing in Western CT.
Gabi is Vice President of Client Experience for InspireCorps, LLC, coach & facilitator with masters in social work.
Julia Hunt Borgardus
Julia Bogardus is a regular volunteer at FISH, a past business owner in New Haven, and is also active in the arts community.
Jill Meyerhoff – Executive Director
Jackie Speiller- Program Director
Jim Sonet – Volunteer
Nancy Williams – Program Co-Manager
Charlie Urban-Mead – Program Co-Manager
Robert Gordneer Jr. – Pantry Assistant