‘Big turnaround’ for Agape Center

Agape Center board chairman Jim Healey addresses the board on Thursday, June 28, 2018. The Agape Center has ended the fiscal year with a small surplus. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – While juggling increased demand, the Agape Center has been able to turn its financial picture around, ending the year with a small surplus.

Revenue for the year, ending in March, was $777,950 while expenses were $776,941.

Those figures were shared Thursday (June 28) by Cornwall accounting firm MNP at the agency’s annual general meeting.

The $1,009 surplus is a shift from the $80,127 deficit recorded last fiscal year, mostly due to slashing overhead expenses. The key item was salaries and benefits, which were cut by 18 per cent or just over $100,000.

“You had a big turnaround,” MNP partner Jamie Pollock said.

In March, Agape’s executive director left and the role was merged with the operations manager duties. Both positions are now held by Johanne Couture.

Half of Agape’s revenue ($389,000) comes from its thrift store while another $231,000 is from community and corporate donations.

It has liabilities of $1.30 million – down from $1.33 million – due mostly to the organization paying down the $390,000 mortgage it took against the building in 2015 to cover 40 per cent of the $1 million Within These Walls renovation campaign.

Board chairman Jim Healey told the meeting, when he started six years ago, the soup kitchen was serving 80-90 meals a day and “now it’s not uncommon to serve 130-150. So those are big numbers and it shows that the need is growing.”

Executive Director Johanne Couture also spoke about the demand, saying the food bank is currently dealing with a wait time of 5-8 days for appointments with clients.

Jim Healey stepped down as chairman and board member of Agape after completing his sixth year. But he made it clear he won’t be far away, helping out the soup kitchen, food bank and thrift store on a volunteer basis.

“I’m not abandoning the Agape Center in any way. You can’t get rid of me that easily,” he joked.

“We know you’ll always be around to assist Agape but thank you for all that you did,” board member Maurice Dupelle said.