Food banks share wealth of opportunity
Oct 21, 2013 / 5:19 pm
To no ones surprise, the Kelowna Community Food Bank and Westside Community Food Bank announced plans to start working closer together, creating stronger organizations to better serve those in need in their communities.
Supported by both boards of directors, this partnership will create stronger, more efficient organizations that can better carry out their mission to “alleviate chronic hunger and poverty in the Central Okanagan.”
The announcement came just two months after Kelowna Food Bank Executive Director, Vonnie Lavers, resigned.
The major development in this new partnership is that the two boards of directors unanimously approved to share Executive Director, Lenetta Parry.
According to Clint Sharples, Chair of the Kelowna Community Food Bank, “sharing administrative functions will increase the efficiency of both organizations and we believe there is no better candidate uniquely qualified than Ms. Parry, to lead these two Food Banks.”
“The Kelowna and Westside Community Food Bank will continue to operate as two separate legal entities. Each Food Bank will continue to have its own Board of Directors, each will maintain separate bank accounts and issue their own tax receipts. Food and funds raised in each community will stay in that community," says Parry.
Sharples says sharing an Executive Director will take both organizations to the next level and yield significant returns for our clients, donors and the community at large.
“Like most stakeholders, our supporters and donors demand high returns. Under this arrangement, we will serve more clients, better," says Sharples.
The Westside Community Food Bank is looking forward to working more closely with the Kelowna Community Food Bank and adopting some of their programming.
“It is our intent to implement Nutrition Improvement Programs in 2014 and launch the Tiny Bundles program as early as mid-November. We will also look at other ways to improve our services such as longer distribution hours” says Helen Holton, Chair of the Westside Community Food Bank.
Parry is a familiar face in Kelowna and West Kelowna. She spent more than seven years with the Kelowna Food Bank, serving as Associate Executive Director.
Eight months ago she accepted the position as Executive Director for the Westside Community Food Bank. Parry is also known for her dedication towards establishing the Central Okanagan Healthy Food Council, work on the Poverty and Homelessness Action Team of the Central Okanagan and her three years of service as Secretary for the Food Banks British Columbia board of directors.
Parry acknowledges that it won’t be easy, but she welcomes the challenge.
“It makes sense for both Food Banks to work in unison. Each Food Bank is committed to providing healthy, nutritious food to those in need, and by working together we can be more focused and effective. There are opportunities to share resources, leverage campaigns and advertising costs as well as take advantage of greater purchasing power. All these will result in better service and a stronger voice for those who struggle to put food on their tables in the Central Okanagan.”
Both the Kelowna and Westside Community Food Banks are run by an elected, volunteer board of directors. Both Food Banks are members of Food Banks Canada and Food Banks British Columbia and are incorporated societies in BC and registered charities with Canada Revenue Agency.
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