It was standing room only at Caring Cupboard’s Talbot St. storefront Monday, Feb. 24 for their annual general meeting . . . an AGM board chairman Ward Houghton and several board members in attendance have not experienced in the past.
Uncomfortable would best describe the reaction of the board during the one-hour session terminated by Houghton with members of the general public – clients of the food bank and representatives of several community organizations including the YWCA and the Central Community Health Centre – still eager to vent their frustration and offer suggestions.
We’ll deal at length with the AGM later this week but here are a few random quotes:
“No one chooses to use a food bank.” – food bank client
“The way people are treated (at Caring Cupboard) is demoralizing . . . They are losing people, they are scared, they are terrorized.” – food bank client
“I want this noted. There is a problem here with the way people are treated.” – food bank client
“We have clients come in who are in tears. They are devastated. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.” – Judith Willey, CCHC
“As a board member I feel horrible. To hear your stories is horrible.”
With no formal complaint process, Houghton suggested clients or those denied food can contact him. His phone number is: 519-631-2212.
Since they are not listed on the Caring Cupboard website, here are the other members of the Caring Cupboard board: Marilynn Andrews, Anne Ashfield, Susan Cole, Rev. Mavis Currie, Maureen Ferguson, Jim Miller, Ken Money, Joyce Shippling, Ted Sturk, Tammy Tolman, Suzanne Van Bommel and Esther Wendel-Caraher.