Espanola’s CAO explains why food bank ask was turned down 

By Rosalind Russell – Espanola Town CAO/Clerk Joseph Burke has an explanation as to why the Espanola Helping Hand Food Bank was turned down in its ask for the municipality to take care of their rent expenses. 

The organization had asked for the town to cover its $1,500 per month rent that it pays for its housing space in Espanola’s downtown. 

Burke states a staff report says that of nine similar municipalities surveyed, only one municipality donated to their local food bank in the amount of $200 annually.  

He adds following a review of the financial statements submitted by the food bank, which is required for a donation request under the Town’s Charitable Donations Policy, it was determined that it was able to generate enough funds for their operating expenses in 2023 through fundraising and grants they receive.  

Burke says the food bank indicated they never have certainty around expected fundraising levels in any given year and are not sure if the funding they receive from Food Banks Canada will continue adding they have not yet been notified of any change for 2024.  

He adds it was determined that if local fundraising efforts are meeting the needs of the organization, then it was recommended to council that the Town not take over the food bank’s rent.  

However, Burke emphasizes the food bank is encouraged to come back and talk to council if their financial situation changes significantly adding they commend the organization and its volunteers for their work. 

Photo: The Espanola Helping Hand Food Bank was turned down for funding from the Town of Espanola. Town CAO\Clerk Joseph Burke explained why in a news release. Photo by Rosalind Russell

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