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Food bank needing volunteer infusion

Posted on April 14, 2016 by Vauxhall Advance

Nikki Jamieson
Vauxhall Advance

The Vauxhall Food Bank is not running out of food or donations, but their problem is just as serious.

The food bank is looking for people to volunteer their time for an executive position on their board. They have a board that’s currently staffed with ten members, and are looking for people to fill three out of their four executive positions.

“We have people retiring from our board, people who are moving to the city to be closer to kids and grandkids,” said Laurie Gallup, chair and coordinator of Vauxhall and area for the Food Bank. “People are willing to give money, people are willing to give food, but we need people who are willing to give their time and their talents, and that’s a little harder to come by.”

While Gallup is acting as chair for now, alongside her coordinator position on the board, the Food Bank still needs to find a permanent chair, vice chair and treasurer soon.

“For example, I am chair and coordinator; I shouldn’t be chair and coordinator, I should be one or the other. There should be somebody else who is willing to step up and be chair.”

Some of the duties the chair would be responsible for include creating an agenda — alongside with the board —for the next two years minimum at each board meeting which meets twice a year, searching and presenting information on agenda topics, lead the meetings, and act as spokesperson when communicating with Vauxhall town council, media and other service clubs or charitable organizations.

The vice-chair would take over the duties of chair when the chair cannot be present, and assist them when they are able to perform their duties.

The treasurer would be responsible for picking up the mail, paying the bills, writing and mailing receipts for donors, collecting donations from money tins set up around town, depositing donations, recording all transactions, investments & donations, completing tax forms and surveys, mailing thank-you letters to donors and would present the financial reports to the board at least twice a year.

The chair can expect to work about 26 hours a year, and the vice-chair would work less hours, approximately 20 hours a year. The treasurer’s position has the greatest demand of time, at about 50 hours a year. However, with the their treasurer having just left, the food bank needs to fill this position fast, otherwise they have to cease operation. In fact, Gallup suspects that it is probably not legal for them to run without a treasurer.

“We can’t run without a treasurer, and that’s why we’re kind of in a panic,” said Gallup, saying that the position needs to be filled ASAP. “I would think we would have to shut down, because if we don’t have someone keeping the books, doing the deposits, writing the checks, how do you function?”

Gallup stresses that they receive wonderful support from Vauxhall, Hays, Enchant and the surrounding communities, in terms of ensuring the shelves are full and they can pay their bills.

“This area – Vauxhall, Enchant, Hays – its very small communities, very close knit and we take care of each other. We don’t have a shortage of finances here, due to donations. We don’t have a shortage of food here due to donations,” said Gallup, adding that do to the support of groups around the community, they never had to put on a food drive themselves. “We are very, very appreciated of everything that these communities do for us.”

“There’ve been a lot of food banks, in Alberta especially, that have had to shut down, or who can’t keep up with demand because of the oil price falling, but we haven’t had that problem, because of Vauxhall, Enchant and Hays’ generosity.”

However, now they ask that a few come forward to donate their time as well. Otherwise, they will be forced to close their doors.

“We just need them to add to that generosity by throwing some bodies our way to sit on our board,” said Gallup. “The little bit we can do here in Vauxhall takes that much weight off of the Taber Food Bank, and prevents people who are already strapped for cash from being forced to drive 20-40 minutes to Taber to get a food hamper.”

Vauxhall and area has an on-call Food Bank, staffed solely by volunteers. People needing help should call the food bank coordinator, who would set up a time for them to come in and receive a hamper.

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