Agape Center saved from $119K deficit by grants, donations

The Agape Center Executive Director Lisa Duprau during the center's AGM on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. The center managed to avoid a pandemic-driven deficit through community donations, grants and wage subsidies. (Agape Center/Teams via Newswatch Group)

CORNWALL – The auditing firm for The Agape Center says a combination of grants and donations during the thick of the pandemic saved the food bank from a nearly $119,000 deficit.

Jamie Pollock of accounting firm MNP says the center had a “really good year,” finishing the fiscal year at the end of March with a $532,312 surplus. “It’s because of the community that helped support The Agape Center when their services was required the most during the pandemic.”

Pollock noted that a Food Banks Canada grant, relief funding and community donations helped the center because, without it, there would have been a $118,900 deficit.

The center received $20,000 from the federal government as one-half of a forgivable loan with the Canada Emergency Business Account and also another $12,000 in COVID-19 wage subsidies.

Revenue was up 53 per cent to $1.1 million compared to the previous year while expenses were down 6 per cent to roughly $661,000.

As far as its long term debt, Agape is still paying off its 10-year secured loan it took in 2015 that covered approximately $390,000 of the $1 million Within These Walls campaign to repair the building. The center paid another $6,802 in principal and interest payments in the last year. There is still $242,498 owing with an interest rate of 4.75 per cent.

“The organization is in good financial shape,” Pollock says.

Numbers shared at the AGM show The Agape Center served 3,240 people, including 948 children and 1,666 households. There were 8,515 takeout lunches served between April 2020 and March 2021.

Executive Director Lisa Duprau says “it’s been a very successful year” with a number of new projects including a “hugely successful” Kibble Kupboard (sic) that provides pet food supplies for families in need. It gave out 83 bags of dog food, 104 bags of cat food and 61 boxes of kitty litter last month alone.

The center also had grant-funded after school programs, a Tech Medic program to fix the electronics of the needy to improve their life and the Garden Box Program, which will be expanded next spring, Duprau says.

The board of directors was able to receive reports but wasn’t able to conduct any official business Thursday because it did not have quorum.

The board also heard that two members are resigning – vice chairman Bernadine McEvoy-Robertson and Emma Meldrum. McEvoy-Robertson told the board that she “wants to move around and give (her time) to other boards.”