Continuing to put the ‘community’ in Community Food Share

Community Food Share 2024 Board of Directors includes: (front l-r) Sheila Lefebvre, Dan Gasser (board chair), Erin Huestis, Ellen Biemond (treasurer), Julianne Staebler, (back l-r) Janeen Wagemans, Ben Baynham (vice chair), Nathan Lang, Leslie Johnson and CFS Team Lead Jane Schoones. Board members David Horne and Suzanne Simpson were absent. (The Leader/Comfort photo)

WILLIAMSBURG – Year after year this generous community steps up when the Community Food Share and the people it serves are most in need and that was the story once again at the 2024 Annual General Meeting of the Community Food Share which took place Monday, March 18 in Williamsburg.

The board, executive, past board members and staff gathered to review financial statements and hear board and staff reports recapping the organization’s 2023 activities and initiatives.

Board chair Dan Gasser reported the group’s organizational focus over the year whereby strategic planning, upcoming accreditation and professional development have resulted in established policies and procedures to allow for knowledge transfer so future boards can maintain the stability of the organization that this group has created. “All of that in the end has made us a stronger organization,” said Gasser.

While the inner workings of a healthy organization are important, it was the financial documents that told the real story of 2023 being a successful year for the Community Food Share.

Treasurer Ellen Biemond said that while a $73,000 deficit was projected for 2023 they ended the year with a $56,000 profit.

“Our donations exceeded what we expected, and not just by a little bit,” explained Biemond.

Over the year Community Food Share received almost $629,000 worth of donations, including food and funds. “Our community is absolutely amazing,” said Beimond. “We almost tripled our fundraising from 2022 to 2023.”

“Every year we are surprised at how much the community supports us,” added Gasser.

While a $64,000 deficit is projected for 2024, “we know this will be the case by the end of the year,” said Biemond, who added that in future years they will work towards projecting balanced budgets.

“Community Food Share is not just us as an organization, it includes the community who are amazing to share their generosity with us,” said Jane Schoones, CFS team leader.

She reported that 2023 saw 1,074 unique individual visits to the food bank which represents an increase in need and reported that they are getting more working families and seniors through their doors.

She detailed all of the fundraisers and fundraising partnerships which made it possible for Community Food Share to continue to meet increased needs.

“These community fundraising partners who reach out to help really takes the weight off our shoulders,” said Schoones.

After approving and accepting the reports, the 2024 board and executive elections took place. Dan Gasser was re-elected board chair. Dan Pettigrew, who was vice chair stepped down and Ben Baynham was elected vice chair. Julianne Staebler was re-elected secretary and Ellen Biemond re-elected as treasurer.

Other elected board members include: Nathan Lang, Janeen Wagemans, David Horne, Leslie Johnson, Sheila Lefebvre, Suzanne Simpson and Erin Huestis.

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