Tito’s Handmade Vodka has donated $50,000 to the Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen’s Preservation Trust (MVFPT), a local fishing nonprofit organization. The donation will be used to fund the purchase of a gin boom, a hydraulic crane that assists in unloading heavy catches from fishing boats. The gin boom is expected to benefit around 25 to 30 commercial fishing businesses on Martha’s Vineyard, with the potential to help even more.
The absence of a gin boom could lead to a decline in the local seafood supply, which would not only impact the commercial fishermen but also the restaurants, wholesalers, and retail seafood markets in the area. Therefore, the installation of the gin boom is crucial to maintaining the local seafood industry’s sustainability.
The $50,000 donation from Tito’s Handmade Vodka was primarily allocated for the purchase of the gin boom, while the remaining funds were directed towards MVFPT’s Community Seafood Program. This program focuses on donating seafood meals to initiatives addressing food insecurity.
Finn Briggs, the Massachusetts State Manager for Tito’s, hails from Martha’s Vineyard. Last year, he recommended MVFPT to participate in a charity event associated with “Love, Tito’s,” Tito’s philanthropic program. Subsequently, Tito’s reached out to MVFPT to explore potential initiatives for support. The decision to contribute to MVFPT was driven by the enthusiasm of Tito’s Massachusetts team members for the organization’s mission.
MVFPT has encountered significant challenges, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted the seafood market and the overall food supply chain. However, these difficulties led to the establishment of MVFPT’s Seafood Donation program, which has been highly successful and impactful. Tito’s support has played a crucial role in enabling MVFPT to procure seafood from local fishermen and provide high-quality seafood to food insecurity programs.
Looking ahead, MVFPT aims to continue its efforts in supporting the commercial fishing industry on Martha’s Vineyard. Additionally, the organization plans to focus on educational initiatives and develop apprenticeship programs to further promote the industry’s growth and sustainability.