Each Summer, thousands of people rent homes for vacation on the Vineyard. Part of the experience is packing the car full of all your stuff and of course favorite foods that you can’t live without. Then on top of that there are the quick trips to the stores once here.
Inevitably, there is food left over, and most people don’t want to pack it back up and take it with them. Some leave it at the house, but many end up throwing it out.
Knowing this, and knowing that this beautiful Island has a great need for non-perishable items for people and families in need year-round, Point B Realty Owner/Principal Broker Wendy Harman had a great idea. A real win-win for the Island and the Point B rental customers.
Homeowners and guests can drop off their leftover, non-perishable food items at the Point B office in Edgartown, when they checkout. There, they would find a large donation chest for their food.
The items are then donated and brought by Point B to The Island Food Pantry on their behalf. The Food Pantry then distributes the food to about 475 families — nearly 1,000 Islanders, including 200 children — who are served by the Pantry program.
It’s a great and easy opportunity for people to help others in need. Another way to help support the Island we all love.
This week, my Point B colleague Allison Savva and I, bagged up a large donation delivery, and headed off to the Island Food Pantry in Vineyard Haven.
Started in 1981 as an outreach program of the Christ United Methodist Church (the Stone Church in Vineyard Haven on Church Street), the Island Food Pantry is assisted by several other organizations, businesses, individual donors, and all faith communities.
The non-profit Island Food Pantry is a volunteer-supported organization, and is still today, housed at the Stone Church.
Even the coordinator, Armen Hanjian, is a volunteer. He and about 70 other volunteers help make it all possible. If you’d like to help, Armen says they can always use more helping hands.
Speaking of helping hands, Wendy Harman met me and Armen at the Stone Church, to help unload our customers’ donations.
The Island Food Pantry is a year-round organization, but is most active October through May. This is the time when more Islanders are out of work, and there are huge heating bills to worry about.
Every two weeks, people who are eligible for Food Pantry help, receive three bags of groceries from the Pantry. One is filled with basic items, one is filled with seasonal fruits and veggies (which the Island Food Pantry has to purchase weekly), and the third one is filled with miscellaneous items that the recipients can choose.
Also included is a $25 gift card to Stop and Shop. The Island Food Pantry also purchases these, which cost about $5,000 a month. Between the cards, and the need to buy fresh fruit and veggies, cash donations are imperative to the organization.
It’s easy to make a difference. You can donate money, your time, and/or your non-perishable goods. Contact the IFP at (508) 693-4764. Since we first published this story, Armen retired after 21 years of volunteer work at IFP.
You can even bring your donation to Point B Realty and we’ll deliver it for you. The Point B team is honored to have this chance to help our neighbors stay healthy and happy by partnering with our rental customers. So, to the hundreds of rental customers we’ve had this year, who’ve help make this drive such a success — Thank You!
We believe in making a difference on Martha’s Vineyard and the community that we live in. We are committed to supporting groups and causes that help Island families on a day-to-day basis, as well as help improve life on the Vineyard. This year, our community fundraising and support has stretched from the Island Food Pantry to the Boys & Girls Club to the Farm Institute and Trustees of Reservations.