Soup kitchen asks for break on ‘bag tags’

Citing its status as a non-profit community service, the local soup kitchen known as David’s Deli requested an exemption from the use of “bag tags” at Monday night’s council meeting.
“We have so much garbage we create. At a dollar a bag, it really adds up,” Pastor Sandy McEvoy of the Joy of Life Fellowship Church, which runs the soup kitchen, said Tuesday.
While David’s Deli, like everyone else, is allowed one free bag of garbage each week, it inevitably creates more than that. And just spending a few extra dollars a week for the bag tags adds up—making a dent in the soup kitchen’s bank account, Pastor McEvoy noted.
“We run on donations and we’re getting low,” she warned. “We’ll be getting some more money soon, but we’ve already had to cut back to two days a week [Tuesday and Wednesday].
“We’ll be going back to three days [Tuesday through Thursday] when more funding comes,” Pastor McEvoy added.
The crucial support for David’s Deli comes both in the form of food and cash from individuals and groups, including local churches, the Fort Frances Salvation Army, and the Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board.
Local businesses ranging from Abitibi-Consolidated to Wal-Mart and Pharmasave also help out.
After first opening the doors to David’s Deli back in May, 2002, the Joy of Life Fellowship Church has tried to see that no one goes hungry for at least a few days each week.
An average of 30-40 people come to the soup kitchen for a free lunch. During the school year, these numbers sometimes include children who would go hungry without the free meal.
McEvoy also said it’s not uncommon to see local businesspeople, pastors, and other professionals drop by for lunch and check out for themselves how useful a service David’s Deli has become in the community.
These guests leave a donation.
Council referred the request to the Operations and Facilities executive committee for a recommendation.
In another waste disposal-related item on Monday night’s agenda, local resident Walter Horban asked council for reimbursement of landfill charges regarding the disposal of old rink boards from the St. Michael’s School playground site.
In a letter to council, Horban noted he and a few other volunteers put up new boards at the ice rink there last fall.
“This past spring, I hauled the old boards to the landfill,” he wrote. “My son-in-law and grandsons, along with Dustin Brown, assisted in disposing of the rotten OSB and 2x4s.
“The charges at the landfill site amounted to $65. I would appreciate the reimbursement as the rink is used by kids from all over town,” added Horban.
Council referred Horban’s request to the Administration and Finance executive committee for a recommendation.
“I think it’s a reasonable request. It does serve a lot of kids in that area,” Coun. Rick Wiedenhoeft said at the meeting.
“It is an unusual request as far as requests for funds go,” noted Fort Frances CAO Mark McCaig. “It’s sort of an in-kind donation.”
Coun. Neil Kabel, who was acting mayor in Mayor Dan Onichuk’s absence Monday night, said the low cost involved, and the considerable usage of the site, should be considered when the executive committee makes its recommendation.