City creates fundraising opportunity
Eudora officials hope convenience will lead to more donations for the Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry.
In June, the Eudora City Council approved an ordinance that established a fund for donations to the food pantry, which is located in the basement of St. Paul United Church of Christ.
"The ministerial alliance had said they were having difficulty and wanted to know if there was a way they could get people to donate on a regular basis and could the city help," City Administrator Cheryl Beatty said. "I told them that budgets were tight, but that maybe through our systems we could encourage people to donate."
The city made it possible for residents to agree in advance to round up on their utility bill and the rounded-up funds will be deposited in an account for the food pantry. Residents also could donate a flat amount every month.
Money that is donated will go toward the pantry's supply of nonperishable foods and also will add to a fund that doles out $25 food vouchers once a month to the needy.
Beatty said the cost to the city is negligible because clerks have to look at each of the bills anyway.
The move comes after auditors recently advised the city against philanthropic enterprises such as the Mayor's Christmas Tree, which asked residents to make donations to the city's needy families.
Auditors were concerned that such practices could cause a conflict of interest for developers or other city vendors because they might wonder whether any donations made would have a bearing on approvals of site plans and the like.
But Beatty said the food pantry fund does not directly involve the city.
"This is an instance were we're going to facilitate a way for people to donate to them and it has a very accountable trail," she said. "We're just providing the ministerial alliance the means to account for donations, as opposed to asking for the donation."
Beatty said she was pleased that the city could help such a worthy cause and she hoped the ease with which people could donate would be a boon to the food pantry's supplies.
"For most people, if it's not convenient for them to help then they won't do it," she said. "We're taking away the difficult part and if you have the funds to be able to help, then inconvenience no longer is an issue. We can get the word out and people see that this is an easy way to give back to their community.
If you have already sent in your bill, you also can go to City Hall and fill out paperwork that will allow you to make the same monthly donation.