Food First

Connecting organizations and reducing silos

Food First is an online referral tool that allows social service organizations to connect food-insecure individuals with on-island food programs that meet their needs.

Why Start With Food Security?

We have identified food security as one of the most pressing social service needs on Nantucket.

According to Nantucket Public Schools, over 45% of their student body qualifies for free or reduced lunch. That program is based on federal guidelines and doesn’t account for the local cost of living – meaning the true number of food-insecure kids is far higher. Food insecurity has a demonstrated negative impact on the performance and behavior of children and teens. School-age children experiencing food insecurity were more likely to miss school and display atypical or borderline emotional symptoms, even if the exposure to food insecurity was intermittent. What this boils down to is that children on Nantucket will not be able to thrive until we ensure that every family has the food they need to be full and healthy.

The high cost of housing on Nantucket is a major contributor to food insecurity. State and federal guidelines suggest that housing costs (rent/mortgage + basic utilities) should not exceed 30% of a household’s gross income. On Nantucket, however, families routinely spend much more than that – some up to 70% of their income – leaving very little or none to pay for food. While addressing the housing cost burden will take time, we can address food insecurity more immediately and effectively.

Food Security

Our partners in Food First include more than a dozen human service agencies on Nantucket.

Referral Partners – Island organizations connecting individuals to food programs

A Safe Place, Inc.
Assembly of God
Elder Services of Cape Cod and the Islands
Fairwinds – Family Resource Center
Fairwinds – Nantucket’s Counseling Center
Health Imperatives – Women Infants and Children (WIC)
The Homestead of Nantucket
Immigration Resource Center Nantucket
Kennedy-Donovan Center
Landmark House
Martha’s Vineyard Community Services – Disability Services
Nantucket Boys & Girls Club
Nantucket Food Fuel & Rental Assistance
Nantucket Public Schools
Nantucket Community School
Nantucket Interfaith Council
Nantucket Resource Partnership
Our House Nantucket
Palliative & Supportive Care of Nantucket
Small Friends on Nantucket
Summer Street Church
Sunny Daily – Community Midwifery & Doula Care for Nantucket

Food Security Partners – Island organizations operating food programs

Elder Services Cape Cod and Islands – Meals on Wheels
Health Imperatives – Breastfeeding Support
Health Imperatives – Women Infants and Children (WIC)
Nantucket Food Fuel & Rental Assistance – Food Pantry
Nantucket Food Fuel & Rental Assistance – Fresh Connect
Nantucket Resource Partnership – Nourishing Nantucket
Our House Nantucket
Salt Marsh Senior Center – Congregate Meals
Stop & Shop
Flashfood (discounted food via an online app)
St. Paul’s Church – St. Paul’s Suppers
Sustainable Nantucket – Grow Boxes
Sustainable Nantucket – Farmers and Artisans Market (SNAP, WIC and HIP vendor)
The Warming Place