From the left: Sheila Lefebvre, Erin Huestis, Dan Gasser, Ellen Biemond, Julianne Staebler. Back row: Ben Bayham, Janeen Wagemans, Leslie Johnson, Team Leader Jane Schoones, and Nathan Lang. Absent from photo: Suzanne Simpson and David Horne.  Thompson Goddard Photo

WILLIAMSBURG – A new board of directors was formed during the 2024 annual general meeting of Community Food Share (CFS) on March 18 at the J.W. MacIntosh Community Support Services in Williamsburg.

The 2024 board of directors include: Sheila Lefebvre, Erin Huestis, Dan Gasser, Ellen Biemond, Ben Bayham, Janeen Wagemans, Leslie Johnson, Nathan Lan, Suzanne Simpson and David Horne.  During the inaugural board meeting, Dan Gasser was elected as Chair; Ben Bayham as Vice Chair; Stabler will serve as secretary and Ellen Biemond as Treasurer.

Prior to the election of the 2024 board of directors reports from Chair Dan Gasser, treasurer Ellen Biemond and Team Leader Jane Schoones were received and accepted.

Gasser provided a report on events over the past year.  He noted CFS continues to work towards being “a stronger, more sustainable organization, ensuring that no person or family in our community will go hungry.” Food Banks Canada will be introducing an accreditation process for all member food banks, of which CFS is one.  Preparation for the accreditation will take a large time commitment, with Gasser concluding this will put CFS “in a position that is strategic, mitigates risk, improves overall success and, most importantly, delivers uninterrupted and consistent service to our clients.”

CFS was selected to participate in the Community Advisory Program (CAP) by the international consulting firm Deloitte.  The board of director and senior management were teamed up with executive consultants in board governance for the day, resulting in their learning “about best governance practices for charities and a better understanding of our own organizational structure.”

He concluded his report by thanking the staff and volunteers noting the success due to their work in planning fundraising events, food drives and provide exceptional service to CFS clients throughout Dundas and Stormont counties on behalf of the board of directors.  “The work we do is challenging, complicated and at times emotionally draining; but it’s also important and critical for our communities and we are grateful for the never-ending support we get from so many outstanding people.”

A 2023 financial report was presented by CFS treasurer Ellen Biemond.  She described donations from the community have greatly exceeded expectations, noting in working with the community the team effort has been successful in providing healthy choices to clients.

CFS Team Leader Janes Schoones provided a comprehensive and detailed 2023 report.  She provided information on various aspects of the organization, noting that the Morrisburg Food Bank received their Feed Ontario membership in September 2023.  This will enable CFS to “receive all Feed Ontario and Food Banks Canada membership privileges including food allocation, dry hub, funding opportunities, and will be included the location on their find food bank maps.”

Food Banks Canada has Link2Feed, a client intake program, which allows data standardization for provincial and territorial members” and has “initiated a National Standards of Excellence.”  She reported on Food Banks United (FBU), an umbrella food bank organization in Eastern Ontario which allows for sharing of resources as well as the opportunity to participate in training opportunities as well as focus on food bank clients.  The Linking Hands Steering Committee is composed of “approximately twenty agencies, organizations and service providers in Dundas County which focus on financial health, healthy living, community connectivity, housing, seniors, and transportation.

Schoones noted CFS held successful fundraisers including Empty Bowls and the Spring Calendar Raffle as well as food and funds raised by the fill a bag event. The organization received funding from the 100 Women Who Care North Dundas and the 100 Men Who Care North Dundas. The OPP Stuff A Cruiser, the Time Horton’s Inaugural Smile Cookie Campaign in Winchester, the ND Parade of Lights, Harvest Yoga by Health Girl, National Valley ATV’s fundraiser and food drive as well as the Holiday Train all provided funds and food items to CFS in 2023.

The community garden at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Winchester, garden boxes in Iroquois and Finch, the Grow A Row initiative and the Gleaning of Gardens at Upper Canada Village contributed a significant amount of food to CFS, with Schoones reporting growing tower “units are now being used in schools in North and South Dundas.”

She reported on other CFS Client Programs including the Heat for the Holidays, the distribution of snowsuits and Christmas baskets in North Dundas, Christmas baskets in North Stormont and food hampers in South Dundas with 150 backpacks provided by Help the Homeless for distribution.

More information on CFS can be found on their Facebook page or website located at