Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Homegrown Community Programs as SNAP Benefits End

Food pantry
Homegrown food pantry arises as SNAP benefits end. (Photo: New Hope)

Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation has announced that it will renew and increase a $1.2 million federal grant for homegrown community food programs that have been feeding thousands of people on the island over the past year.

Food pantry

Homegrown food pantry arises as SNAP benefits end. (Photo: New Hope)

Supplemental SNAP Benefits

The grant, which will increase to $1.3 million, was originally part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and was meant to provide relief to those impacted by Covid-19 closures and restrictions.

This comes as the federal government issued the last of its pandemic allotments, a temporary additional SNAP benefit of at least $95 a month depending on household size, which will end in March.

SNAP recipients in Martha’s Vineyard, who already face challenges as low-income earners and seasonal workers, have been relying on this additional benefit to keep up with rising food prices.

Two homegrown community food programs on Martha’s Vineyard have been beneficiaries of the CARES Act funding – Island Grown Initiative and the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club. The programs provide meals, snacks, and groceries for Vineyarders in need.

READ ALSO: Food Giveaway In Roseland, Chicago As Emergency SNAP Benefits End

Homegrown Initiatives

Island Grown Initiative, which operates the Island Food Pantry in Oak Bluffs, has seen its client base double over the past year, with more than 4,100 people served in the first round of CARES Act funding. The Boys & Girls Club in Edgartown has also seen hundreds of children and their families receive snacks, take-home meals, and groceries from its food pantry.

The high cost and short supply of housing for working Islanders is driving more families to seek food relief. Housing insecurity lends itself to increased need, said Dhakir Warren, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club. But SNAP users are far from the only Islanders who need assistance getting enough nutrition.

Many eligible Islanders don’t take advantage of the federal benefit, and seniors are often reluctant to apply for SNAP. Food insecurity is increasingly cutting across income lines and age groups, straining local resources, said Paul Schulz, executive director of Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation.

The CARES Act grant has been a real lifeline for hungry Islanders and its renewal and increase have brought relief to many. This funding is crucial in ensuring that Islanders, regardless of their residency status, can have access to nutritious food during these challenging times.

READ ALSO: SNAP Benefits 2023: Ohio Direction Card SNAP Schedule In March

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *