In December of 2014, the Community Foundation for Nantucket awarded grants through the Nantucket Fund™ to 27 deserving Nantucket nonprofits. Now in 2015, we are excited to feature and highlight these nonprofits and their amazing efforts. We asked each recipient a series of questions that get to the heart of their organization and how it benefits our Island community. Our latest nonprofit is the Nantucket Food Pantry.
1) How does your nonprofit help the Nantucket community?
The Nantucket Food Pantry (NFP) is an outreach program of the Nantucket Interfaith Council. The Food Pantry’s bylaws (establishing its board) are dated October 1994, and the Nantucket Interfaith Council operated a food pantry directly for four years prior to that.
Food insecurity among Nantucket families is a real and urgent social issue; one that the Nantucket Food Pantry (NFP) is addressing with compassion, expertise and innovation. NFP is a community-wide effort to address a community-wide need. Clients are served free of charge and can visit the Food Pantry once a week if not working or not receiving any income and once every two weeks if working/receiving income below Pantry guidelines. Our “Client Choice” food pantry offers each client household selections based upon household size and healthy guidelines. This practice reflects NFP’s belief in the dignity of each individual by providing a “shopping experience” for our clients. One of our priorities is finding creative solutions to convert our local food assets into healthy resources that are more accessible, more equitable and more collaborative. The NFP also serves as a “gateway” to other human services, since we are a very visible and accessible agency within the community. The Pantry is open for clients on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-6PM, with emergency services available as needed. Food delivery is provided upon request for seniors or disabled persons who are unable to visit the pantry.
2) What does our Nantucket community mean to you and your nonprofit?
The heart of our Nantucket community feeds the soul of our Nantucket community. Sharing unifying goals we work together to strengthen the overall health and spirit of Nantucket. Leading with invitation and creativity to sensitively support the well-being of everyone who lives here. We meet the basic needs of food, housing, and jobs while honoring the sacredness of every human being with compassion, fairness and respect and remembering and celebrating our heritage. Understanding we are stronger together.
3) Tell us a specific story of how your nonprofit has benefited someone in our Nantucket community (something we might use in a testimonial).
The neighbor most on my mind this week is the Stage 4 cancer patient who use to come with chemotherapy infusion bag attached and we all worry since we have not seen him in awhile.
Or the retired neighbor barely scraping by with minimal social security benefits.
Or the families who lost their winter housing and had to move off island, find new jobs, and new schools for their children.
I am inspired every day by the resilience of our neighbors here on Nantucket. They continue to remind me of a favorite saying: “Be kind to people and don’t judge, for you do not know what demons they carry and what battles they are fighting.”
4) In one sentence, tell us your thoughts on the Community Foundation for Nantucket and how you think it benefits the Nantucket community and all your efforts as a nonprofit.
CFN inspires collaboration by having a shared vision and inviting all of us to connect conversations, information and resources to maximize what we can accomplish together. CFN has the capacity to strategically connect projects to a larger purpose.
5) Where did your grant dollars specifically go this year?
The Foundation’s 2014 grant was designated for acquisition of fresh produce, and allowed the Food Pantry to purchase Community Supported Agriculture Shares from our local farms.
6) Any event dates for your nonprofit we should know about in 2015?
The issue of the hungry and homeless on Nantucket Island is a real thing. Learn more about it and how you can help by reading the compelling article by N Magazine here.
Get in touch –
Contacts: Anne Marie Bellavance orJanis E Carreiro
Phone: (508) 228-7438
Thank you to the Nantucket Food Pantry for feeding the hungry here on Nantucket.