Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Napi Executive Director explains food bank rental increase

Napi owned food bank building in Pincher Creek
Toni Lucas

Napi Friendship Association Executive Director Dianna Gray would like to go on record with a clarification related to the Pincher Creek Voice article "Pincher Creek's food bank to trial voucher program".

McMan Agency took over the operation of the food bank one year ago on July 1, 2014.  Previous to that date Napi Friendship Association (NFA) had run the food bank and since has been in partnership with McMan Agency. A part of that partnership was a reduced cost for the building that McMan has used for the food bank for the past year as part of a their partnership agreement. NFA Executive Director Dianna Gray explained "Napi subsidized a certain amount of the rent so McMan could get a good kick start. With the challenging fiscal times, we are unable at this point to continue subsidising McMan and have asked for the amount for the rent to McMan to be the recovery cost for our mortgage. So we are not making any money. We are paying our mortgage, just."  McMan currently pays $850 monthly rental fees on the space, plus utilities. A $1,200/month rental cost will come into effect July 1, 2015.  Napi has agreed to a month to month lease while McMan tries to find a better location for their program.

Gray said "I'm sitting in partnership with amazing community members for food security committee, and we are looking at different strategies to support the food bank, at this time. Napi is very cognizant of the fact that the needs are great and we want to work in collaboration and partnership with as many people and organizations as possible."

Gray said that she understand the costs of running a food bank. "It is an expensive endeavour." If McMan finds a new home she has other ways the space can be used. "We have some other initiatives, and people have come forward that want to run other aboriginal business out of it." If McMan stays the $350 difference between the price of the subsidized rent and the rent recovery, "That money could go into youth programs."

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