MADISON — The chairwoman of the People Who Care Food Cupboard said Friday she has resigned from her post and the board is working to re-open the food bank after a sudden announcement earlier this week that it was closed.

“I believe it is going to be re-organized and opened again,” said Shannon Drury, who has been the nonprofit’s board chairwoman since July.

Drury said she resigned Friday and is stepping away from the organization about three months after a public hearing at which some residents voiced concerns about her leadership, including being paid a stipend for her work, in contrast to the executive director who previously led the organization, who was not.

“The donations dropped off after the Town Meeting,” Drury said. “Obviously I got a lot of backlash about getting paid, so to rectify that, it will be under new management from new board members. As we speak, they’re trying to reorganize it.”

Drury was receiving a stipend of $300 per week and estimated in January she was working “80 to 90 hours per week.”

On Wednesday, the food cupboard announced on its Facebook page it was closing, a decision Drury said Friday probably was made too hastily and was a mistake.

She said Madison Town Manager Tim Curtis asked her to resign.

In an email, Curtis said he did tell Drury she should consider stepping away from the food cupboard as they re-organized. He said he did not want to comment further.

Board members could not be reached for comment Friday.

The food cupboard, which operates in the town-owned former Old Point Avenue School in Madison, is a nonprofit, but a majority of its operating funds come from the communities it serves: Anson, Embden, Madison and New Portland.

For 2019 the cupboard was scheduled to collect $28,250 in revenue from the four towns. The remainder of its revenue comes from solicitations, general donations, fundraising and grants, for a total budgeted revenue of $52,350, according to numbers provided at the January public hearing.

At the hearing, some residents and town officials expressed concern about losses in revenue and increasing costs for volunteer stipends, which were less than $2,000 in 2015 but are now more than $11,000.

Others praised Drury for making changes they said were for the better.

“In my book, they are taking care of more people and the food has gotten better,” said James Rosado, a volunteer at the pantry, at the time. “And the quality of the communication between the clients and volunteers is better. I just wanted to say that. She’s doing something right.”

Drury said Friday she was not sure who would take over as the next board leader, but she hopes to see the food cupboard re-open.

It was typically open Wednesday as well as Saturday mornings, so as of Friday no one had lost access to food since the closure was announced, Drury said.

“It’s going to be a huge loss to the community if they can’t get it back up and running,” she said.

 

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