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New Funding Awarded to Address Food Insecurity on Martha’s Vineyard

Mar. 10, 2023

The Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation (MVCF) has received a $1.3 million grant to directly address food insecurity brought on by the pandemic. The grant is from the federal CARES Act and funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Housing and Community Development, Massachusetts CDBG Program.

The MVCF has been working with Island Grown Initiative and the Martha’s Vineyard Boys and Girls Club, supporting their respective food equity programs. Island Grown Initiative runs the Island Food Pantry, and a robust prepared meals program, often utilizing gleaned and rescued ingredients. The MV Boys & Girls Club has recently launched a small food pantry at the Club, and offers prepared meals to its members, the majority of which are low or moderate income individuals.

“This is an exceptional award, and the timing couldn’t be better” said Paul Schulz, the Foundation’s Executive Director, “It allows us to build upon the 2021 $1.2 million dollar grant that was targeted to food insecurity and will be exhausted by the end of March. This new investment in feeding our neighbors will take these agencies through June of 2024.”

“We are so grateful to the Community Foundation for seeking this critical support,” said Rebecca Haag, IGI’s Executive Director. “Just this month, families receiving SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits are seeing a significant drop in their monthly assistance. And it comes at a time when our client base has doubled in just the last year.”

The MVBGC provides families with a conduit of care with community partners to ensure they are holistically supported, including food access, as being made possible through this grant. Executive Director of the MV Boys and Girls Club, Dhakir Warren explains, “While the Club has a longstanding reputation of supporting youth, our food security program is playing an increasingly instrumental role in ensuring island youth and families across the Island are being supported holistically and have consistent access to healthy and nutritious meals.”