Our 2022 Annual Report

It's been a very busy spring at FISH - but we wanted to take a moment to share with you some reflections, highlights, and data for 2022.

As we began to transition out of peak pandemic mode, FISH continued to adapt in response to the basic needs of the Sonoma Valley community. The winter rains of 2022 arrived early and persisted, causing storm-related lay-offs and reduced hours within the tourism and agricultural industries. The impact on Valley families was significant.   

The following numbers indicate the level of need but not the stories behind the statistics. Medical issues, loss of employment, inflation, the price of gasoline, and increased rent forced many families to seek assistance. We are grateful for the community support and the hard-working volunteers who were able to provide basic services to all those in need.  

Summary of Services Provided in 2022

Information & Referral:

Thousands of requests were received, and FISH dispatchers responded in both English and Spanish to help our neighbors.

Food Assistance:  

978 households received supplies of both fresh food and nonperishable items at our Food Pantry, while 536 seniors/families received home deliveries. In addition, 525 families received Holiday Food Baskets.

Clothing and Housewares:

With more than 3,000 visits to our Clothing Closet, hundreds of pounds of clothing, diapers, shoes, and small household items were distributed in 2022.


FISH volunteers provided 838 rides to medical appointments, both locally and out of town. A total of 574 individuals and families received gasoline, and 472 paratransit tickets were provided.

Medical Equipment:

Our equipment loan program continued to grow, with 230 Valley residents receiving needed medical equipment including walkers, rollators, wheelchairs, commodes, shower chairs, crutches, and canes.

Financial Assistance:

Rent assistance continued to be a critical need. 286 families received assistance, most receiving 50% of a month's rent. Utilities assistance grew to 202 families, who were helped with their gas and electric, water or garbage bills.

FISH Financials

Expenses for 2022 totaled $477,472. Of that, more than $398,000 (or 83%) went to direct service costs, including rental assistance (about $200,000), food (almost $90,000), utilities assistance (almost $40,000), and other programs. Facility costs and client administrative costs each totaled about 7% of expenses, and a bit over 2% went to our "FISH at 50" recognition events.

Revenue for 2022 totaled $479,516. FISH wants to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of our donors for their support. With you, all things seem possible. Although many of our donors prefer to remain anonymous supporters, we want to highlight the key role that individual donations play in FISH revenues. Pie charts can speak louder than words! We are also very grateful for the business donations, grants, and bequests that support FISH.

One story that the charts do not tell is the importance of in-kind donations, especially for our food programs. FISH could not do the work we do without the support, year in and year out, from a cadre of over 50 businesses and organizations that provide food for our pantry and other goods and services, as well as helping hands for various seasonal programs. Each is an essential member of the extended, caring network known as FISH of Sonoma Valley. 

Celebrating FISH at 50

In 1971, eight local churches established Friends In Sonoma Helping to provide emergency assistance to the people of Sonoma Valley. While much has changed since then, the spirit of FISH remains. FISH has always been run by an all-volunteer staff, and (after a pandemic delay of one year), we took time in 2022 for a celebration to recognize and honor the volunteers that make FISH possible. We also celebrated our vast network of community supporters with cupcakes and balloons on the Plaza.

Making Sonoma Valley a Little Bit Brighter

In addition to brightening lives, FISH now brightens Highway 12. "FISH Central" has been our home base for twenty years, and with our 2022 makeover the building is now both eye-catching and user-friendly, with much-improved signage. Located at 18330 Sonoma Highway. FISH Central is home to our Food Pantry, Clothes Closet, and Medical Equipment Loan programs.

FISH Board of Directors

More Changes Ahead!

At FISH, one of our core values is responsiveness, or staying nimble in adapting to crises and to changing needs of our community.

In 2023, we are continuing our "deep dive" into our food operations to better serve those who face food insecurity, a persistent issue for Sonoma Valley even as the local economy recovers from pandemic impacts. FISH actively participated in a food insecurity study recently conducted through the Sonoma Valley Catalyst Fund, and based on its findings we are adding a Saturday food distribution in July, among other changes to better meet local needs. We recognize the value of coordination among local nonprofits as a priority, and FISH is active in the Sonoma Valley Food Roundtable as well as the Homeless Task Force.

Look for more changes at FISH Central this year. Thanks to volunteer Eric Muller, our medical equipment storage shed was recently expanded to meet the steady growth of our equipment loan program. And with a capital grant from the Catalyst Fund, a new roof will be coming soon and we can say goodbye to the leak-catching buckets!

We are also busy building a new website that will help us to better serve our clients as well as volunteers and other supporters. Look for the launch of the new site later this summer.

With the help of our donors, partners, and volunteers, FISH can continue to remain responsive and adapt to serve the needs of our wonderful community in the years ahead.

In friendship,


Sandy Piotter, Executive Director

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P.O. Box 507, Sonoma CA 95476-0507
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