At last Tuesday’s City Council meeting, City Staff wanted to renege on a promise the City made to El Pasoans Fighting Hunger for a community kitchen. From ElPasoMatters.com:
Funding for a proposed $1.5 million community kitchen was left intact Tuesday by City Council, which voted against a staff recommendation to defund the project.
After a contentious two-hour debate, the El Paso City Council voted 5-4 to leave the funding dedicated to the community kitchen, with Mayor Oscar Leeser casting the deciding vote.
. . .
City staff asked the council to pull back the funding so that the city could reevaluate the proposed El Pasoans Fighting Hunger kitchen, as well as other community needs. The city allocated the funding for the kitchen in summer 2020, but had yet to sign a contract with the food bank.
If MountainStar Sports Group wants $120 million for a ballpark, there’s no hesitation. But try to give a million and half to an organization that feeds the poor, and the City is against it.
Who was the staff person? TommyG whispering in their ear?
Nicole Ferinni, the Chief Resilience Officer for the City of El Paso. Remember, the City had that little kerfuffle with the food bank about CARES act funds back in the fall. The City said they didn’t have the paperwork, and the food bank said come look at it. Maybe this is just a pissing contest. The optics are bad.
You have to wonder what motivated four members of council to effectively say “nah, we don’t need to fund a food bank, let’s just wait for some more deserving project….” And then of course they all went home to a good dinner.
I was a volunteer several times a week at the food bank for a year, some of the hardest physical work I’ve ever done and most rewarding. One of the most difficult jobs is pushing the food carts to clients, 200+ per hour. You work up a sweat but get 800+ “Thank you God Bless you’s” on a four hour shift. Good karma.
A community kitchen is a great idea. The Mountainstar retainers on CC are probably worried it will eat into hotdog sales 🙂 Chief Resilience Officer? Yeah, sure.