--Aylmer Food Centre tables prudent financials, strong helping influence at annual general meeting
The Aylmer Food Centre (CAA) hosted its annual general meeting at the Centre Aydelu on September 24, drawing 43 locals to review the organization’s activities, finances and accomplishments of the previous year. According to the CAA’s Director General Gérard Émond, the meeting’s main topic was to review the organization’s activities from April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020. Usually held in June, this year’s event was postponed to the fall because of the coronavirus. Representing Gatineau council, Lucerne councillor Gilles Chagnon was on hand for the meeting.
After words of welcome from CAA Board of Directors President Jacques Boisvert and Émond, proceedings continued with the food bank’s financial statement. Positively, the food bank ended the last fiscal year with a $4,443 surplus - $552,058 in revenue, $501,058 spent – giving the organization a slight bonus for what has been a rough 2020-2021 so far. Despite $50,000-plus in excess revenue over expenses, $46,054 was attributed to real estate expenses.
---Donations account for 1/5 of revenue
While the lion’s share of the CAA’s revenue came from subsidies from different entities, like the Centre intégré de la santé et des services sociaux de l’Outaouais (CISSSO), the Ville de Gatineau and Centraide Outaouais, Émond said more than $109,000 came from resident donations in both 2019 and 2020. The CAA’s annual financial statement was compiled by CPA accountant Philippe Mousseau.
There was an election for a seat at the board of directors. Of four available positions, five candidates showed interest. Finally, incumbent board members Richard Parent and Lynn Foran kept their positions, while CAA volunteer and Golf Committee President Michel Charrette and Steve Lampron were newly elected. Since the pandemic started in mid-March, its economic impacts weren’t reflected in the CAA’s financial statement for 2019-2020.
While receiving plenty of financial support from the community since the start of the pandemic, notably from Pontiac MNA André Fortin, Centraide Outaouais and CISSSO, the food bank has lost between $75,000 and $85,000 due to the pandemic, Émond said, noting that it is far from over. Helping more than 1,500 people fight food insecurity by distributing more than 2,400 food packages per month, through more than 14,000 combined hours of volunteering between April 2019 and March 2020, the food bank also contributed considerably to society in a social manner, helping residents find employment – 18 full time, and 10 part time. They also helped many more people to write their own success stories. “That’s what we do,” Émond said. “The [CAA] has no religion, has no gender, has no country and has no language. We are united.”