26 Feb Strategic plan a priority for King Food Bank in 2018
Strategic plan a priority for King Food Bank in 2018
By Carol Ann Trabert
In the early days of King Township Food Bank (2004), a week of groceries in the form of preboxed food was of- fered along with $10 per person to help with milk and eggs.
Why a week? Other social agency re- sources, community meals, along with public transit, are scarce in this rela- tively sparsely populated area. Pet kib- ble was added when it was noted that people feed their pets before they feed themselves. Bathroom tissue was in- cluded because bulk packs are so much cheaper than the individual rolls that people on a tight budget have to pur- chase.
As word spread, numbers grew out of step with food donations, and a Web Sponsorship program was developed in 2009 to provide the funds to purchase food.
Over the years, from time to time vegetables were offered through per- sonal and in-kind donations. To mark 10 years, the Food Bank board decid- ed to make it a policy to include fresh fruit and vegetables. This caused some nancial stress, and so the Food Bank started its annual Sip & Savour to bal- ance the budget.
Hillside Farms stepped up with a
pledge of year round vegetables, in- cluding onions, carrots, beets and pars- nips (supplemented with cauli ower and celery in season). Some of these were greeted with wariness in the be- ginning, but as attendees traded recipes and information, popularity grew and so did the monthly “order” requested from Hillside. Now, only fruit needed to be purchased, which helped greatly.
The same year, the option of food cards was introduced. At this point, about 75% of the boxed food was being purchased, and there was serious logic attached to offering food cards for peo- ple to do their own shopping in addition to the notion of giving dignity, not char- ity, to those who preferred the indepen- dence of choosing. Of course, at full re- tail, the boxed food is in nitely better value. Food cards in lieu were calculat- ed on the basis of what the Food Bank was paying for the food, using the deep- ly discounted front page prices. About 80% of registrants opted for the cards, and that number remains pretty much the same today.
Two years later, numbers spiked by 25%, and there was a huge imbalance of food vs. funds by year end. Early in 2017, registrants were returned to pre- boxed food, with the exception of those who had special dietary needs. Only
a month, and we had redressed the balance, and all returned to the usual mode by late spring.
But the budget required the Food Bank to raise $40,000 through Sip & Savour. With increased attendance, gen- erous sponsorships and a record break- ing auction, the target was met.
As the year drew to a close, unusual- ly large donations came in, putting the King Township Food Bank into a com- fortable bank balance. Again and again, deepest thanks go to the community, and beyond, for responding to the call to keep the organization in the black. As a totally independent, volunteer or- ganization, there can be no “red.”
Through it all, the small organizing committee that became a board with incorporation and Charitable registra- tion, has worked diligently, along with over 20 committed volunteers.
As a working board, directors have come and gone, giving their ne talents and professional expertise to move the project along from year to year. The positions have been fairly demanding; dif cult for someone with a career to manage, let alone family consider- ations. The areas of fundraising and marketing/promotion are the most
demanding, although that can be miti- gated with the presence of committed volunteers to undertake the compo- nents, such as web sponsorship, event management, community liaison, web- site and social media management, and promotion coordination. Most of these areas are quite mature, and it’s largely a matter of maintenance rather than creation.
The time has come to develop a stra- tegic plan, as they call it. Actually, ex- amining the structure, scope, and num- ber of board positions and identifying ways of replacement over time is a more precise way to identify the project for 2018. This has been identi ed as a need in the past, but has assumed the number one priority for 2018.
King Township Food Bank is looking for passionate and committed people to assume responsibilities at both the board level and “component” level. All areas are open for scrutiny, and if you would like to join in this project to en- sure sustainability, please speak to any current board member, or call Carol Ann at 416-559-7898 or through the Food Bank at firstname.lastname@example.org and 905-806-1125.