ARICHAT: One Richmond municipal councillor wants to change the way food banks are funded.
During the regular monthly meeting in Arichat on November 25, council decided they will make a decision next month whether to fund four food banks at $2,500 each or five at $2,000 apiece.
District 5 councillor Jason MacLean is opposed to cancelling funding for the food bank serving the Potlotek First Nation.
“There has been some concern in the past with regards to the food bank in Potlotek not having a physical structure,” he said. “They do not have a physical structure where the food bank is located, but they certainly do take the money that his county has provided and provide for people in need.”
District 1 councillor James Goyetche does not agree with how municipal funding is allocated to each food bank. As a FEED Nova Scotia entity, he said the Isle Madame Food Bank serves 133 clients and 86 households, and during Christmas, they distribute 97 care packages, but receives the same funding as food banks that serve fewer people.
“I don’t think, that based on population, that this a fair distribution,” Goyetche told council. “Based on population, Isle Madame has just as much need, if not more, than any others but it’s not based on population.”
District 4 councillor Gilbert Boucher agreed with Goyetche that council needs to consult with representatives from all food banks so they can make a sound decision.
Council agreed with Boucher’s suggestion that municipal staff send the food banks correspondence requesting information, like how many people and households each food bank serves.
Once they receive that information, Warden Brian Marchand said it is hoped they can approve the funding before the holidays.
“We are going to try to do that,” the warden said. “Through some e-mail correspondence, we’ll try to make a decision based on the numbers that we do have, and hopefully reach some agreement.”