Island nonprofit receives funds to fight food insecurity


On Monday, the Baker-Polito administration awarded $27.1 million in federal Community Development Block Grant CARES Act Food Security Program funding to 13 community foundations and the Massachusetts Association for Community Action. These funds will be allocated to “local programs within their respective service areas to address food insecurity for families and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout.”

Each awardee of the grants will partner with other local organizations in their areas to address food insecurity. Additionally, awardees will evaluate the possibilities of partnering with existing or new delivery systems toward this effort.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the funds can be used for “food, labor, supplies, materials, and other costs required to run a food provision program. Food security activities can also extend to assistance for food banks, food delivery or pickup, and other food-access programs such as Meals on Wheels, or other services.”

On the Island, the Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation was awarded $1.2 million to address food insecurity. According to Emily Bramhall, director of the foundation, the grant money’s usage is rather specific, so a concrete plan on how the funds will be used for food security isn’t set just yet. 

“We will be partnering with IGI [Island Grown Initiative] and the Food Pantry under their umbrella, and perhaps other members of the food equity network as well,” said Bramhall.