sponsored by Joseph Finkle & Son, Inc.
Fisherman’s Mark, the Lambertville-based social services agency, is observing its 40th year in 2020, though certainly not in the way it had anticipated.
The coronavirus has derailed most of the anniversary festivities the agency had planned.
Yet Fisherman’s Mark has risen to the occasion in facing the trials presented by virus, just as it has met challenges throughout its four decades serving communities on both sides of the Delaware River.
The agency is known for its Food Pantry, case management, Information and Referral, and for the Lambertville Academy, which provides pre-school and after-school care and educational enrichment (pre-K to 6).
In addition to these services, supports and programs, the agency has assumed a leadership role in the 2020 Census, partnering with the City of Lambertville to ensure all residents are counted.
As an organization that so clearly values each person, Fisherman’s Mark was a natural choice to help promote full participation.
And the trust Fisherman’s Mark has engendered in the community has helped to ease concerns some may have about filling out their Census form.
Fallout from COVID-19 has meant the Food Pantry, Fisherman’s Mark’s signature program, saw a 30% increase in clients facing food insecurity in April and May.
With its customary resourcefulness and resolve, the agency found a way to provide food to 300 new clients.
Of course, the Pantry had to adjust its practices when it came to distributing the food.
Whereas clients ordinarily come into the facility at the Hibernia Fire House and shop for nutritional choices arrayed on the Pantry’s shelves, the virus has meant staff and volunteers have had to pre-bag food, which is then distributed to clients outside the facility.
Over summer, Fisherman’s Mark broadens its menu of nutritional programs.
Children in the area benefit from lunches supplied through the Feed Local Youth (FLY) program.
And on Wednesdays during the summer, the Food Pantry is complemented by a farm stand that features fresh produce harvested by local farms.
As the school year nears, staff are readying for the annual Back to School Backpack program, which provides backpacks filled with school supplies for local children.
Fisherman’s Mark’s anniversary may not have gone as expected, but responding to unexpected and difficult circumstances is nothing new to the staff or volunteers and upholds the agency’s commitment since its founding to offer help when help is needed.
To learn more about Fisherman’s Mark or to make a donation to further the agency’s work assisting those in need, please visit https://fishermansmark.org/.
PHOTO CAP: Fisherman’s Mark Volunteer/Donor Matt Egner (waving) and Ricardo Zapata, the agency’s Manager of Community Engagement, distribute food and household items in front of the Fisherman’s Mark offices in Lambertville.