Community Food Share: Financially sound for now

Community Food Share serving almost 1,000 clients

MORRISBURG – Although the exact Hunger Count data will not be available until next month, Community Food Share officials know that the number of clients it serves is increasing weekly.

Having served 907 unique individuals in 2021, outgoing Community Food Share Dundas Stormont board chair Jim Wilson reported at the annual general meeting held Monday (March 21) that they now support almost 1,000 clients, one-third of whom are under the age of 18.

The client base consists of many seniors, some on disability assistance, but most work in one or more low-wage jobs that are vulnerable to economic downturns.

“Food banks have traditionally been the community’s way of providing basic non-perishable food supplies to people who had suffered misfortune or who could not provide for themselves. But food security is no longer simply the result of personal misfortune or misadventure,” said Wilson. “Misfortune has become systemic and persistent and affects whole segments of our community. Consequently, food banks are now part of the regular food distribution system.”

While seeing its client numbers increase weekly as the pandemic continues and the economic pressures increase, Community Food Share remains in a strong financial position. Treasurer Dan Gasser reported that receiving COVID relief funding and grants has kept the food bank well funded to this point.

What the $109,483 COVID relief funding and various grants has allowed is for the CFS to set aside funds for the future when those funds will no longer be available and they will again be fully reliant on donations.

CFS team lead Jane Schoones reported that they were fortunate enough to receive all of the funding and grants for which they applied last year.

“That funding offset what was lost in all of the events we had to cancel but there isn’t going to be any more money,” said Schoones. “The pot of gold has dried up.”

“In the short term we are absolutely fine,” said Gasser.

The vision of Community Food Share is that no person or family in our community should go hungry.

Taking over the reins as CFS board chair and continuing to strive to meet that vision for 2022 is Dan Gasser who was acclaimed to the position. Dan Pettigrew is the new vice-chair. Julianne Staebler remains secretary and Ellen Biemond replaces Gasser as treasurer. Board members at large for 2022-2023 are: Jim Millard, Joanne Havekes, Ernie Coumont, Jo-Ann Houle, Nathan Lang, Jennifer Waldroff, Janeen Wagemans and Jim Wilson (past chair).

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