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A statement from Hub leadership

 

June 28, 2023

Last week, the Board of Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard unanimously voted to make the incredibly challenging choice to reduce our team by three members. This took staff by surprise, and for that we apologize. Acting now, while our agency remains in a stable position, meant that we could maintain positions for remaining staff—and most importantly, for those who rely on our services. It meant we could provide severance pay through the end of July. However, it also meant that we were acting without the transparency and clarity we strive for between Board and staff. 

The Hub was fortunate to avoid reductions in staff throughout the pandemic, growing part-time positions into full-time and expanding our team. In the absence of volunteers, we were able to bring on more temporary staff to maintain our most critical program: distributing food to the community. We are thankful and proud that we were able to support our largest and best-paid staff to date through one of the most challenging times in recent history.

Unfortunately, as each donor, volunteer, staff member, pantry shopper, and nonprofit agency are experiencing, as we move away from the pandemic era, we face rising need for support with more limited funding available and rising costs for the necessities that keep our homes and agencies going. The extra supports from federal, state, and local granters ensured our community was well supported in a time of crisis; however, as need has remained elevated, support has returned to pre-pandemic levels. 

As we navigate this moment of significant need for our services and envision the future of our agency, we are focusing even more sharply on our mission of increasing access to healthy food in ways that cultivate dignity, agency, and community. For now, that means putting more weight on the critical community service of our food pantry and restructuring our approach to several programs with a deep commitment to patron input.

To begin rebuilding trust and a collaborative strategy for maintaining and growing Hub programming, we have initiated a mediation and training process led by People’s Cooperative Market and BLM B-town. We will also be building more space for shared work between Board and staff and ensuring staff receive the same financial updates as the Board. We believe this emphasis on collaboration and shared ownership will build us back stronger. 

Further, while this will mean a reduction in programming for a time, as we work to restructure existing positions and foster more cross-team collaboration to support programming, we look forward to working with you to build back programming that draws on your skills, interests, and input.

The Hub also commits to building more partnerships and deepening community relations to increase collaborative use of our resources for more robust support and programming across agencies, and to advocate for increased public investment in social services as we work toward an equitable community.

We can be reached with questions or comments at mhc@mhcfoodpantry.org.

Thank you,

Megan Betz and the Hub Board of Directors
 

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