Fisherman’s Mark’s 40 anniversary will be remembered for the agency’s agile handling of the fallout from the coronavirus, maintaining food and other supports to help stabilize many lives upended by the crisis. The Lambertville-based organization has managed to meet the exigencies arising from Covid-19 owing to the efforts of the resourceful, resolute staff and the generous outpouring of contributions from local donors.
Covid-19 and its impact on the economy have significantly extended the need for social services and nutritional meals in the towns along the Delaware River. In spite of the surge in need and the requirement to keep people apart to curtail the virus’ spread, current and new clients are finding that Fisherman’s Mark remains close at hand and ready to help, while still upholding safe practices.
Over the early weeks of the crisis, demand has risen markedly, with the expectation for it to worsen in April. In March, the Food Pantry distributed more than 15,000 pounds of food to nearly 1,000 clients. A year ago, the numbers for March were far lower: 5,000 pounds of food served to 600 clients.
The Pantry has responded to the virus by providing clients with pre-bagged food, allowing for the safe distribution. The spike in unemployment caused by the virus has added to the numbers who are turning to the Food Pantry, with other supports also in great demand. More and more people are in crisis and in need of counseling and other services and supports. In addition, as government relief measures come on line and evolve, awareness about their availability and access is critical. Fisherman’s Mark is assisting through case management (done by phone) and with updates on its new website. It provides information about new or expanded programs and assists people filing for unemployment.
The Lambertville Academy, the organization’s Early Childhood Learning Center and aftercare, has had to suspend its classes and daycare, but it continues to engage children remotely with activities such as story time, gardening, exercise and art via YouTube, Zoom and social media.
Fisherman’s Mark Executive Director Jennifer Williford expressed her gratitude to the community for supporting the programs and services that are now needed to a greater degree by a greater number of local residents than ever. “We are so appreciative for the community support now more then ever. For those who have made donations we are so very grateful. However, we have a long way to go, anyone who would like to make a contribution can do so by visiting or website at www.fishermansmark.org or by check at 37 South Main Street Lambertville, NJ 08530