In His Own Words...
Chris Murphy, Community Outreach Chair
I heard about Fort York Food Bank through an organization called Board Match that links individuals with charities looking to fill roles on their respective boards. It's a fairly comprehensive process that asks individuals to assess what's important to them philanthropically and provides a working list of charities that meet their values or goals.
FYFB jumped out at me right away. The big consideration was that it's located in my community - I work and live only a few blocks away. Second - it's trying to reduce poverty in our city by feeding people and helping them get back on track. And thirdly, the operations of FYFB are almost run entirely by volunteers. I've had an opportunity to witness the kindness and dedication of the volunteer staff first hand and I've felt proud to be part of the group. This is really an organization I can feel good about.
The most significant role is maintaining and increasing the private funding that sustains FYFB. While we receive food from Daily Bread Food Bank and Second Harvest, we rely almost entirely on donations from individuals, foundations and corporations. Over the last 10 years, we have maintained a loyal group of donors and we need to grow that base to keep up with the growing demand for FYFB services.
Building awareness locally for FYFB will help in that regard. Highlighting that FYFB is a multi-service agency that goes beyond distributing over 240,000 meals a year; FYFB also assists over 1,100 people through our advocacy and counselling services. With a case like this, the value of this organization in my community should be readily apparent to potential donors.
My feeling is that there are a large number of people in our community who are unaware of the amazing work that is taking place at FYFB. Empowered with that knowledge, I believe they would be very willing to contribute a donation of funds or time.
I'm hoping to increase awareness and raise more money. We have short-term needs that are simple - raise enough money to sustain FYFB. We need roughly $100,000 a year to keep the lights on and to continue to deliver our programs to the more than 27,000 people a year that use FYFB.
Beyond that, we would like to make enhancements to our facility. A new floor is needed at some point and its going to cost approximately $10,000 in additional funding. If we're successful increasing awareness for FYFB within the community, I think we can reach this goal within a year and make our facility a more comfortable and welcoming environment for our clients.
I think some of our bigger opportunities are with prospective corporate donors. Each year most companies, like individuals set aside funds to make charitable donations. We need to get the message out and let these companies know how meaningful a donation would be to FYFB.