Talking FISH

FISH Executive Director Wally Jeffers meets with Scott Ellis, who was recently elected president of FISH’s board of directors.

Families in need of food assistance this Thanksgiving and Christmas season only have 10 days left to sign up to receive turkeys and holiday dinner fixings from Hunt County Shared Ministries (FISH).

For applicants, the sign up period is scheduled to last until Friday, Oct. 29 and all registration paperwork is due by Tuesday, Nov. 2. Distribution of the food boxes is then scheduled to take place on Saturday, Nov. 20 (for Thanksgiving) and Saturday, Dec. 18 (for Christmas).

While FISH is expecting to receive 220 turkeys from the North Texas Food Bank, they are also planning on distributing a total of about 2,400 turkeys between the two holidays, so they are still in need of donations.

“When people have asked how they can help, I've been asking them to buy gift cards from Brookshire's and just put $18-20 on them and donate those to us to buy the additional turkeys,” FISH Executive Director Wally Jeffers said. “There are also other things we'll need for the boxes that we don't usually get from the food bank, such as stuffing, canned pumpkin, cranberry sauce, canned yams, and also things like canned green beans and corn.”

In addition to needing donations for the holiday boxes, FISH is also continuing to see a large amount of need in the community in the wake of COVID-19.

“With people who are on hourly wages, if they get COVID, then there's a good chance that other people living in the same house will get it, so they may be off from work for a month or month and a half as COVID moves its way through the house,” Jeffers explained. “Because of that, we've been really busy helping with rent and utility assistance lately, and things of that nature. We're just being bombarded right now.”

For those needing assistance due to crisis situations such as job loss, escaping abusive or neglectful home situations, or facing financial hardship due to a serious illness (and for those wishing to donate), FISH can be reached at 903-455-0545 or by email at info@hcsmfish.org. FISH's office hours are 9 a.m. to noon, Mondays through Fridays, and they're located at 2805 King St. in Greenville.

FISH is also in need of volunteers to help pack the Thanksgiving and Christmas care packages. The packing sessions for the Thanksgiving boxes are planned for Nov. 16-18 (other details to come) and packing sessions for the Christmas boxes are scheduled for Dec. 14-16.

Recently, FISH’s board of directors elected Scott Ellis as its new president. For the last few years, Ellis’ familiar voice has been heard on 93.5 FM The Coyote and on EZ Rock KGVL (105.9 FM and 1400 AM), often promoting FISH and its efforts.

“I’m very excited to be president of Hunt Shared Ministries, and I’m excited about the future growth and expansion of FISH and the services it offers,” Ellis said.

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Travis Hairgrove is a news reporter and features writer at the Herald-Banner and covers city government for many municipalities in Hunt County. To reach him outside of business hours, email THairgroveReporter@gmail.com.

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