Community Service Projects

Island Food Pantry:

P.O. Box 1874
Vineyard Haven, MA 02568
phone / 508-693-4764

Located at Christ United Methodist Church on Church Street in Vineyard Haven If you or someone you know on Martha’s Vineyard needs the assistance of the Food Pantry, the following information should be helpful.

-The Pantry is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 2:00-4:00p.m. From mid October through mid April.

-Even when closed, from mid April through mid October, emergency food assistance is available. Call the Pantry 508-693-4764 (508-693-GROG) and you will be given names and numbers of pantry volunteers who will meet you at the Pantry at a mutually convenient time.

-When the Pantry is open, three bags of food are given whatever the size of the family; one bag of basic foods, one bag of fresh fruits and vegetables and one bag of items chosen by the visitor from a table of miscellaneous items. On the 1st and 2nd Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays of each month, a $20 food certificate is also distributed.

-Persons can come the Pantry for their first visit without any qualifiers. If someone comes for 2 or more visits, they must bring a letter of reference from a clergy person, social agency or employer on a letterhead indicating this person/family needs our assistance.

Then the person may come once every two weeks.

-We are not able to provide all food needs for people – our mission is to address emergency needs.

Crop Walk:

What is a CROP Hunger Walk?

Neighbors walking together to take a stand against hunger in our world. Together we raise awareness and funds for international relief and development, as well as local hunger-fighting.

Crop Walk Martha’s Vineyard takes place in October of each year. The walk is from St. Augustine’s Church on Franklin St., Vineyard Haven to Trinity Church at the Camp Grounds in Oak Bluffs and back.

Red Stocking Fund:

The Red Stocking Fund distributes food vouchers for Thanksgiving and again in March, but its big push comes for the winter holidays. Its roots date to 1938, when Mrs. Harris M. Crist asked her friends to fill six red stockings with gifts for needy children.

Red Stocking holds benefit events throughout the year to support its work, including the annual chowder festival. The Vineyard Harley Riders last year raised $17,000 in their Toys for Tots Run.

The money is used strictly for clothing and food according to fund co director Kerry Alley. Toy donations are accepted from other sources.

More than 275 children from 160 families received food and gifts through the Red Stocking Fund, and the list grows every year. Confidentiality is critical to the operation. Parents provide a list of their children’s most needed clothing and hoped for toys; each child is then assigned an identification number that allows volunteers to match the right gift packages with the right people. Each package includes several major items of clothing, like a jacket or sweater. Also: pajamas, socks, underwear and mittens, four or five toys and a book donated by the Bunch of Grapes Bookstore.

In mid-December a group of volunteers will gather at Grace Church to begin wrapping, making sure that children waking up on Christmas morning find colorful packages adorned with ribbons and bows.

For more information or to make a donation please contact Kerry Alley at 508-693-2324 or Lorraine Clark at 508-693-0725.

St. Vincent de Paul Society: A Prophetic Intuition

“The question which divides the people of today is no longer one about political structures but a social question. It is to find out which will win, the spirit of egoism or the spirit of sacrifice. Is society to be just a huge exploitation for the profit of the strongest, or a dedication of each person to the benefit of all, and especially to the protection of the weak?

“There are many people who have too much, and who want still more. There are very many more who do not have sufficient, who have nothing and who want to take if people won’t give. A struggle is starting between these two types of people. This struggle threatens to be a terrible one. On one side is the power of gold, on the other the power of despair. We must jump in between these opposing armies, if not to prevent at least to soften, the encounter. And the fact that we are young middle-class people makes it easier for us to fulfill the role of mediator to which our title of Christian obliges us. That is why our Society of St. Vincent de Paul is useful.”

Frederic Ozanam If you had not got to the end of that quotation you might well have wondered from which contemporary writer it came.

It comes, in fact, from the generous heart and intuitive intelligence of a young man named Frederic Ozanam who already, more than a century and a half ago, by 1836, had had this prophetic vision which permitted a foretaste of the great social struggles and, altering the planetary scale, the tensions between the third world and the industrial world.

If you wish to join, contact Bernice Lopes at the office – 508 693 0342.

If you need emergency food assistance, contact Bernice Lopes at the office – 508 693 0342 .