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Our Services


FISH of Cowlitz County is best known for its church-supported food distribution program.


FISH works with eighteen churches in Longview and Kelso to distribute food each weekday.


In an typical month, 1,700 people — adults and children — receive food boxes from FISH churches. Many people get food two or three times a month. In 2005, FISH churches gave out enough food to prepare more than 250,000 meals.


Each food box is designed to provide nine meals for every family member. Food includes meat, eggs, milk, bread, vegetables, fruit and a variety of other items.


How to get food:

  • Food is available to people who say they cannot afford groceries.
  • Individuals and families may get food up to three times a month — but no more frequently than once every four days.
  • Recipients must have identification cards for each family member and proof of address.
  • To request food, call the FISH line (636-1100) between 9 a.m. and noon weekdays. The volunteer on duty tells callers how and where to obtain food.


Other FISH Services

FISH volunteers also help people buy prescriptions, get dental care and pay water bills. In 2005, FISH spent more than $130,000 providing non-food services to people.


Help with the following services is available by calling the FISH line (636-1100) from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.


  • FISH will pay up to $40 for prescription drugs.
  • FISH will help people with emergency medication needs, but is not able to help with recurring drug needs.
  • FISH is not able to fill prescriptions for Narcotic Pain Medication or for most Psychiatric Medications (no Benzodiazapines or Antipsychotic Medications). Certain Antidepressants may be considered.
  • To request emergency help filling a prescription call the FISH line (636-1100) from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

FISH’s prescription program is funded in part by a grant from the Health Care Foundation.


Emergency Dental Care

  • FISH provides access to emergency dental care at the Family Health Center Dental Clinic for people who are low income and have no dental insurance.
  • FISH will arrange for the patient to receive an emergent dental exam and the necessary emergency dental care.
  • This assistance is for people who have no dental insurance or money to pay for dental care.
  • To request emergency dental assistance call the FISH line (636-1100) from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Do not call Family Health Center for FISH assistance. 

In 2005, FISH helped more than 280 people obtain dental care. 



Water, Propane and Natural Gas Bills

In collaboration with the Cities of Longview and Kelso, FISH provides emergency assistance in the form of payment of all, or part, of water, propane or natural gas bills. This assistance is for people who, for some reason, find themselves without the money to pay the necessary bills to meet their emergent needs of warmth, refrigeration, or water for drinking, cooking and sanitation.


Water Bills

  • The United Way gives FISH a grant to help people pay utility bills, and 330 households asked for help with water bills in 2005.
  • Last year, 95% of FISH’s water bill clients sought help just once, but individuals in need are eligible for help once every six months.
  • FISH will pay up to $50 of a water bill for people with a financial emergency.
  • To request assistance with a water bill call the FISH line (636-1100) from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

Propane and Natural Gas

  • People who heat or cook with propane or natural gas can get help from FISH.
  • Assistance with propane is limited to four times a year.
  • Natural gas assistance is limited to once every six months.
  • FISH will pay up to $25 of a propane or natural gas bill for people with a financial emergency.
  • To request propane or natural gas bill assistance call the FISH line (636-1100) from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

FISH does not help pay power bills. People with overdue PUD bills should call 425-3430, the number for CAP, which receives federal grants and donations to help people pay PUD bills.


Medical Care

  • In collaboration with the Health Department, FISH can help arrange for some limited medical care services such as Tuberculosis Screens, Immunizations, and Lice Treatments/Lice Combs.
  • To request assistance obtaining medical services call the FISH line (636-1100) from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.


Job Assistance

Some people with new jobs cannot afford to buy items required by their employer. FISH may be able to help with a variety of services that include buying clothes, work boots, a state identification card, or a birth certificate. FISH also will pays for tests or certification requirements for those without the ability to do so.

To request job assistance call the FISH line (636-1100) from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.


Miscellaneous Services


FISH offers help with a variety of needs for people who cannot afford them. These include:

·        monthly CUBS bus passes for those with no other form of transportation

·        eye exams and eye glasses

·        help obtaining formula for babies

·        necessary household items and some essential furniture items

·        some personal care needs

·        drivers license renewals and State Identification cards.

People with a pressing need may call the FISH line between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays to see if help is available for their emergency. The FISH volunteer will try to help.


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