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Cloud over soup kitchen
Volunteer fears service may not open
due to 'operational issues'

Soup Kitchen head cook Val Rowe and volunteer Ian Carter read an email from PCYC CEO Chris Gardner raising "operational issues".

GRIFFITH soup kitchen volunteer Val Rowe fears her charity operation may not be able to reopen this year because of "issues" with the Griffith PCYC.

She said a number of operational issues still needed to be resolved with PCYC CEO Chris Gardner and that this may not be done in time to reopen on February 9.

"We really need to sit down and discuss it all with Mr Gardner," Mrs Rowe said. "It's so important he speaks to us and does it quickly."

Mr Gardner has confirmed the operation can continue to run as a PCYC activity but has questioned a number of operational issues.

"I understand that there are some local operational issues regarding set-up co-ordination, supervision and behaviour control, and clean-up and lock-up. But these can, I'm sure, be worked through at the local level," he said in an email to Mrs Rowe.

Mrs Rowe said it would be a great pity if the program could not recommence on the planned date.

"I would be very concerned about the people that I have served over the nine months and worried that all the hard work we have put into this will fall by the wayside," she said. She said since opening nine months ago, the kitchen had fed 1200 youths and 300 adults and that these individuals would be lost if the service were to cease.

"It has been such a great program - it's created self-motivated individuals, built friendships, taught kids how to interact with adults and it helps keep kids off the street for a few hours."

Mrs Rowe would like the program to recommence as planned so that plans for a new judo program can begin. "At the moment, once we've fed the kids they have nothing to do which is why we want to start the judo class," she said.

Story by Brydie Flynn, The Area News, Wednesday January 30 2007.



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