The NFFRA is an outreach service of the Nantucket Interfaith Council. The Nantucket Interfaith Council is a group of island churches, religious organizations, and community members who meet monthly to promote the spiritual and humanitarian wellbeing of our island community. Services are provided without regard to race, sex, creed, religious belief or sexual orientation.
The Nantucket Food Pantry
The food pantry was founded in 1991. For the past several years, the pantry has distributed more than 16,000 bags of groceries to approximately 1700 hungry neighbors, reaching a high of 20,000 bags in the past year. We know there are still many hungry neighbors who we are not yet serving. The Food Assistance Program will continue outreach efforts to identify and meet more of the existing need. Additionally, NFFRA will continue partnerships with Sustainable Nantucket to develop the Share your Harvest program inviting backyard gardeners of Nantucket to donate excess local produce to the food pantry. Our partnership with Moors End Farm has been providing us with fresh eggs and a farmer’s market bounty for clients for the last few years. We also continued our partnership with Bartlett’s Farm and purchased CSA shares to sustain the number of fresh, local fruits and vegetables we offer at the food pantry. We began a partnership with new Food Rescue committee to explore gleaning and expansion of food rescue initiatives with restaurants and real estate brokers.
The Nantucket Rental Assistance Program
The Rental Assistance program began in 2004. Since its founding, the program has assisted 552 households with rental subsidies totaling $1,078,941.00. The need for an island-based rental assistance program remains critical due to the following challenges: a growing year-round population living at or below the median income level; rising rental costs in relation to wages earned; a severe shortage of year-round affordable rental housing; reduced employment faced by many workers during the "off season."
The Nantucket Fuel Assistance Program
The Fuel Assistance program was created in 2014 to assist clients apply for heat subsidies under the Federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, and in 2016 with the Salvation Army Good Neighbor Energy Program. Inthe fall of 2017 we will expand services to directly help families with heating emergencies due to a grant from the William Hosier Trust and other donors.
The impact of these services on the vitality and integrity of the Nantucket community are self-evident. Without adequate food, housing, and heat, many of the individuals assisted by NFFRA programs could not remain on island and the Nantucket community would suffer the effects of not having a vibrant, diverse, and dedicated community. We invite those who are able to support our work with a donation of time, talent, or treasure. And, to those who need NFFRA’s services, we offer them within a community of compassion and confidentiality.
Nantucket Interfaith Council Executive Board
Rev. Dr. Ruth Smalt, First Congregational Church - President
Rev. Thomas Lengyel , Summer Street Church - Vice President
Terry Anne Vigil, Christian Science Society - Treasurer
Rev. Georgia Ann Snell, Stillwaters Community Worship - Secretary