Cape Cod Foundation

In July 2020, Fishing Partnership’s V.P. of Public Health Policy, Heidi Sulman, received an email from Kristin O’Malley, President and CEO of the Cape Cod Foundation letting her know that Fishing Partnership had been selected to distribute a $25,000 grant to Barnstable County families working in the fishing industry adversely affected by  COVID-19.

Fishing Partnership Speeds $25,000 in Financial Aid

The grant was made possible by the Massachusetts COVID-19 Fund. In response, Fishing Partnership’s Chatham-based office organized to distribute the funds to fishermen families in need.

How the Grant was Distributed

From a fishing family themselves, Morgan and Shannon Eldredge are Navigators that work for Fishing Partnership in the Chatham office. Their knowledge and connections in the Cape Cod fishing community make them deeply familiar with the financial challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. In coordination with the FPSS central accounting office in the Burlington headquarters, gift cards were purchased and distributed, and checks were issued to pay essential rent and utility bills.

We couldn’t have reached as many fishing families as we did without our local partners like the Homeless Prevention Council of Lower Cape, the Community Development Partnership and others. Together with many local organizations, FPSS got the word out quickly to help 99 individuals from 46 fishing families in need.

Morgan Eldredge

Chatham Navigator, Fishing Partnership

Cape Cod Fund Distribution

How Fishermen Used Fund Money


This pie chart breaks down how the $25,000 benefited 99 individuals from 46 fishing families.

Aid was delivered in a variety of ways.

Many families reached out for food and gas cards.

Other fishing families submitted bills for other essential needs like rent, childcare and utilities.

About the Need

The COVID-19 pandemic has crushed commercial markets for local fresh fish in New England. According to Fishing Partnership’s Health Policy expert, loss of income to MA fishing families is significant and losses can vary widely by species. Demand for lobster, crab, clams and oysters is down signifcantly as a result of the significant reduction in prices paid to fishermen for their catch. These trends are adversely affecting the financial health of fishing families on Cape Cod.

In response, Fishing Partnership Support Services [FPSS] was awarded a $25,000 grant from the Cape Cod Foundation to help fishing families in Barnstable county. This grant was made possible by the MA COVID-19 Relief Fund which appointed the Cape Cod Foundation to select non-profit leaders in Barnstable County to reach communities most in need. With support from community partners, FPSS successfully delivered aid to 99 individuals from 46 fishing families on Cape Cod in September 2020.


About Our Partners

The following individuals and organizations assisted Fishing Partnership in reaching Barnstable County fishing families most in need. We thank them for their generosity in dedicating time and organziational resources to help us contact more Barnstable County fishing familes than we could have reached on our own.


Are You a Fishing Family That Needs Help?

Contact Fishing Partnerhsip Support Services today. Our Navigators are standing by to assist you with health and wellness programs, safety at sea programs, and a wide range of resources designed to improve the economic security of commercial fishermen and their families.

FPSS helps a wide range of individuals and families working in the commercial fishing industry including shoreside support workers. This is anyone that works to support the fisherman to get their product to market including marine supply retail/wholesalers, boat/engine repairmen, boat/engine mechanics, lumpers (men that unload fish from the boat), ice companies, bait dealers, fish/shellfish truck drivers, fish cutters, fish packers and more.

It starts with a conversation, call us today.

Request Services

Are you or your spouse a fisherman? Do you come from a fishing family? Or, are you a shoreline worker that lives in a coastal community [that's anyone that has a job that supports fishermen getting their product to market and includes boat mechanics, fish cutters and lumpers to name a few]? We're here to help. Complete the Request for Services form and we'll answer your call.

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