More than 300 people volunteer for us each year and they make a BIG difference in the lives of Laurel area residents. Find out how you can help.


Helping to feed the homeless and working poor in the Laurel, Maryland area.

Betty, as her friends called her, started FISH of Laurel, Inc. to help low-income Laurel residents. She opened a food pantry in the basement of her home. With the aid of area volunteers and a telephone HelpLine, in addition to food from the food pantry, the group offered emergency financial aid and transportation.

Twelve years later, the generous donation of "Elizabeth House" made it possible for FISH of Laurel to open a soup kitchen that fed a hot evening meal to area homeless folks, seven days each week. Bag lunches were offered at the end of the meal so folks would have some food for the next day. Can one person make a difference in their community? We think so!


Our founder

1976 - Elizabeth "Betty" Colnaghi and Laurel-area volunteers incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

1988  -  A 1950's home was donated to FISH of Laurel, Inc. and in 1990 it was dedicated as "Elizabeth House" in honor of 20-year veteran, Elizabeth Colnaghi. The kitchen was upgraded and a soup kitchen was opened to serve the area homeless.

2012   -  A link to PayPal was added to the old web site; making online donations possible for the first time.

2013   -   This web site was created to give visitors easier access to information, services and donation and volunteer opportunities.

Elizabeth "Betty" Colnaghi

make a donation

seasonal programs

Thanksgiving and Christmas - holiday food baskets to folks in need. Summer - food drives are appreciated. Christmas in July and Christmas Bags - seasonal items for the homeless.

meal kitchen

for the homeless

Seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, the volunteers in the Elizabeth House kitchen prepare and serve a hot meal to our homeless clients. Meal preparation crews of about 3 to 5 people prepare a meal and make bag lunches. Serving crews of about 4 to 6 people serve the clients and clean up the kitchen, bathroom and dining areas at the end of the evening.

About forty-five people arrive for dinner every evening around 6:00 pm and most will pick up a bag lunch on their way out. Doors open at 6:00 pm and close at 7:30 pm.

Sometimes a generous donor will have previously dropped off travel-size toiletries that the volunteers put into a grab basket on the sign-in desk. Two times a year, volunteers and donors give each dinner client a shoebox or tote bag that's filled with seasonal toiletries, clothing, snacks and other personal items.


for those in need of help

CALL - 240-5479023

Laurel residents - If you need groceries please call and speak to one of our HelpLine operators. Our Client Services Coordinator will screen your request and, if you qualify, will schedule a day and time for you to receive your groceries. The coordinator will also explain the check-in process.

If you need financial assistance for utilities or medications, please call us. Our HelpLine is available 24/7 or you can send us an email.


need information?

volunteer, donate or ask a question

EMAIL - webmaster@fishoflaurel.org

Do you have a question about what we do? Want a speaker for your organization? Would you like to schedule a food drive or volunteer?

Because email requests can be routed more quickly and accurately than voicemail to the correct contact person, we prefer that you contact us via Email instead of via telephone. Either click on the Email link above or click Send A Message.