The Southside FISH Program will be ending with the retirement of Nick and Madelyn Scocca, who have coordinated the program for 45 years! Nick remembers a pulpit announcement that sparked his interest, regarding an ecumenical program that was starting up to help neighbors needing assistance. Madelyn and Nick shared that the FISH Program has allowed them to live out their Christian faith.
Southside FISH is a program that supplies food to those in need in the southwest area of San Jose. There are six Christian churches of different denominations that contribute to FISH financially, with volunteers, and by giving food. There are approximately 55 volunteers who serve to answer phones, bag and distribute the food. Many volunteers have been with the program since it began in a garage at Transfiguration Catholic Church. Transfiguration Church has generously donated space for the program through the years.
The FISH movement began at an Anglican Church in England, as a way for people to express their love and concern for their neighbors. The co-founder challenged others to get their religion “off its seat and onto its feet.” The movement has spread with more than 1,300 chapters operating in the United States.
Since January 1984, when statistics started to be kept, FISH has provided food to 125,680 individuals and in 2015, over two thousand individuals were provided with food.
FISH partners with Second Harvest Food Bank and receives approximately fifty percent of its food from Second Harvest. Last year Second Harvest gave 6,311 pounds of food to the FISH program. Donated money is used to purchase other items for the food kits. Last years donations totaled $9,296.
The recruitment, coordination of volunteers, partnering with other agencies, records keeping, book keeping, ordering of food, purchasing of food, and maintaining the non-profit status has been handled by Nick and Madelyn Scocca and a team of dedicated volunteers. They are all an inspiration to us on how we can personally make a difference in the world!
There will be a reception to celebrate the FISH Program on February 27, from 3:30 to 5 pm in the hall at Transfiguration Church at 4325 Jarvis Ave., San Jose.