Critical Needs

As we head into the summer months, many Island families face unprecedented uncertainty, and the Island Food Pantry needs more support than ever to rise to the challenge of serving them. Our friends at Island Housing Trust invite us to consider supporting the Emergency Rental Relief Fund through the Permanent Endowment.

Island Food Pantry

The Island Food Pantry provides a year-round source of wholesome food for Islanders in need, and is jumping through extraordinary hoops right now to rise to the occasion and serve our community. Since the beginning of March, the Food Pantry has seen their number of visitors increase by over 150%, the number of new families increase by 400%, and has served nearly 2,500 Islanders. As we head into the summer months, many Island families face unprecedented uncertainty, and the Island Food Pantry needs more support than ever to rise to the challenge of serving them. To find out more, visit, or email their executive director, Kayte Morris at

Emergency Rental Relief

The Emergency Rental Relief Fund that the Permanent Endowment has just launched in collaboration with Island Housing Trust’s rental management partner Dukes County Rental Housing Authority is a great opportunity whereby Great Pond Foundation members and donors can make an immediate impact. A story just went up on the MVTimes site about the fund.

In an unprecedented collaboration to address the financial crisis many Island renters may face from the economic fallout directly connected to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Permanent Endowment for Martha’s Vineyard will accept donations that will be specifically used by the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority (DCRHA) to assist renters suddenly unable to meet their rent payments.  The “COVID-19 Emergency Rental Relief Program” will be a specific project of the Permanent Endowment’s recently established Emergency Response Fund which, in the last two weeks, has awarded roughly $91,000 in grants to 14 non-profits on the Vineyard.  The rental relief program will be run by the Housing Authority using the funds directed through the Endowment. In addition to housing the funding mechanism for the DCRHA, the Permanent Endowment’s board has seeded the rental relief program with $10,000.  As a chartered municipal body, the Housing Authority cannot directly solicit money for its work from private donors. The Rental Relief Program will differ entirely from the ongoing rental assistance program and will target Island renters who typically are not eligible for assistance and generally don’t seek it. And while these renters may be in the pipeline for assistance under various government programs, that direct financial relief is likely one, two or three months away.

In terms of a donation link and steps, donors can 

  1. go to 
  2. choose Other from the “Apply my donation to” field,
  3. then under “Please enter the name of the Fund to which you wish to donate,” type in Emergency Rental Relief Fund.