The City of Vernon is providing funds to local charities through parking fines.

The City of Vernon is providing funds to local charities through parking fines.

Charitable donation puts Vernon council in hot seat

Vernon council struggled Monday with deciding which charities should get a cut of the $4,252 from Food for Fines.

It’s not easy giving away money.

Vernon council struggled Monday with deciding which charities should get a cut of the $4,252 from Food for Fines.

“I don’t like sitting here because when you look at all of these (seven groups), they’re all worthwhile. It’s not a game I enjoy,” said Coun. Juliette Cunningham.

As part of Food for Fines, payments for parking tickets collected over a week were donated to organizations providing food programs.

The names of some specific groups were considered but there was reluctance among some councillors to just select one or two for the funds.

“It’s unfair to chose one charity over another,” said Coun. Dalvir Nahal, adding that some of the groups successfully fundraise while others have limited resources.

“It’s unfortunate that we’re choosing the popular ones.”

And the concept of pulling names out of a hat didn’t find favour as Cunningham stated funds should be based on how many people are fed.

Ultimately, a majority of council decided to provide 80 per cent of the $4,252 to the Upper Room Mission and 20 per cent to the Saturday Street Lunch program at All Saints Anglican Church.

On top of this, the city’s Kindness Meter program has raised $1,521 as of Oct. 31. Those funds will be donated to the Salvation Army food bank.

Coun. Catherine Lord says donations to charities should come from residents and Food for Fines should be scrapped.

“There are so many organizations that need funds. This is not something council should be doing,” she said.

However, Coun. Scott Anderson says it’s important for the city to provide a mechanism for residents to contribute.

“We’re not fixing everything but we’re doing some good,” he said.

 

Vernon Morning Star

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