Monday, January 29 was the Ottawa Food Bank’s Annual General Meeting attended by supporters, volunteers, staff, and member agency partners. Thank you to all who joined us to recap the year.
The meeting began with Ottawa Food Bank’s Chair of the Board, David K. Law, welcoming attendees and introducing the Board of Directors. Last year’s AGM minutes were approved, then Law moved on to do his Report from the Board.
“The Board is responsible for the oversight of management of the organization. I think I can say on behalf of the Board that we are impressed with Mike Maidment and the team,” said Law. “I was one of the kids in the distant past who relied on the kind of help you give people every day. So on behalf of myself, and behalf of the people you help. Thank you to our member agencies. I am grateful.”
Sarah Tremblay, Treasure of the Ottawa Food Bank’s Board of Directors, went over the financials with attendees, and was pleased to announce that the Ottawa Food Bank ended the 2016-2017 fiscal year with a surplus. The Ottawa Food Bank is currently working toward two separate reserves. First, six-month operational reserve which is to help us should we experience any unforeseen operational problems. This reserve is also there should there be an emergency in our community where our assistance is called upon.
Secondly, we are also now working towards a capital reserve. Our lease is going to be up in a few years, so we need to have a plan, and money, in place in the event that our rent goes up or we move locations. Both these reserves are to ensure we have enough money aside to deal with these scenarios without there being a disruption in our service.
For a complete look at the Ottawa Food Bank’s financials, please refer to our most recent Audited Financial Statement.
Three Board members stood for re-election, and one new member was unanimously voted in. Congratulations on re-election, Irene Cameron, David K. Law, and Greg Strahl. Welcome to the Ottawa Food Bank’s Board of Directors to Naomi Praamsma, the Executive Director of the Salvation Army Bethany Hope Centre.
This year’s Keynote Address was the Ottawa Food Bank’s Executive Director, Michael Maidment. With having just completed a new strategic plan as a result of community consultations, the AGM was an ideal time to share the new direction.
“Our new direction has four pillars. These pillars are based on what we heard during our consultations over a year ago. They include: improve access to healthy food; grow capacity and resiliency in the food system; cultivate social innovation in food banking; and participate in advocacy and social change. ” said Maidment.
Maidment explained each of the pillars and what steps have already been taken, then examined what the affordable housing landscape currently looks like in Ottawa.
“Housing is the single biggest expense for people in Ottawa. And, for many who turn to food banks, the biggest problem is access to decent affordable housing,” said Maidment. “We have an election coming up. We have an opportunity in front of us that we cannot miss. Building affordable housing doesn’t only decrease homelessness, it reduces dependency on emergency food banks.”
Thank you to all who attended the Annual General Meeting, and thank you to the Ottawa Food Bank’s member agencies, volunteers, donors, and supporters for your hard work in your community and your incredible support over the last year.
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