Sent the following letter to the editor in yesterday and have attached a couple more stories from Friday and Saturday.
It is true that if one sifts through the various things Rob Anderson has said a kernel truth emerges. My take is they want to download the service and I have no doubt that it will happen in some form or another. What the Sally wants Sally gets. What we need to do is ensure that if another organization picks it up the Salvation Army provide the ongoing funding for it. If this were not to happen then programs like the 7-10 Clubs, http://www.nanaimo710club.com/, FREE Breakfast and Bag Lunch will not only have to compete for funding with the S/A but the new service as well. Bottom line for me is that if a new service evolves it be FREE to the community.
All this being said it is not as simple as just downloading the program. There are limited zonings in which "Social Service Resource Centres' (city of Nanaimo http://www.nanaimo.ca/ definition) are able to locate and even then it would have to be of an appropriate size and have an industrial kitchen installed.
Here is a term I have used in the past and I leave it to you the reader to determine if the shoe fits the S/A; Poverty PIMP is a term used most often to convey a person or organization profiting excessively by acting as an agent for the poor and disadvantaged and benefiting from their misfortune.
To the Editor:
Recent stories about the Salvation Army discontinuing their meal programs contain far too much inconsistent and contradictory information. Fortunately as stories come out we are, if one sifts through this information, getting a more accurate picture.
Despite union staff we now know the Salvation Army does use volunteers and rather than 250 – 300 meals number actually dropped 50% since they implemented a charge for those meals. We have also been informed by Divisional Headquarters the only way the meal program would be cancelled is if there was no longer need or another organization were to take it on.
They readily admit that the meal programs are not the cause of the purported $250,000 shortfall; they are simply the easiest to cut. What we don’t know is where the shortfall stems from, only that it is.
The community by their very donations has mandated the Salvation Army to provide this service. Recognizing whatever the true costs, $500,000 or $400,000, would they be willing to provide this funding to another group to provide this service?
With the information available I pose these two hypotheses; the Salvation Army simply no longer wishes to provide a meal program, and, the $250,000 shortfall may just be in monies raised in Nanaimo and being sent to Divisional Headquarters.
After contributing to the Salvation Army for over 120 years the Citizens of Nanaimo deserve the truth but the reality is until we have full and honest disclosure we may never know.
Published: Friday, May 28, 2010
Enduring charity struggles with funding crunch 1
Funding Crunch 2
Funding Crunch 3
Published: Saturday, May 29, 2010
Salvation Army not alone in struggles : 7-10 Club chairman says they can't fill void if lunch program is cancelled