The Allocations Committee of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg has released its report for the 2019/20 fiscal year.
Among the highlights is a total increase of $35,000 in funding for the 12 beneficiary agencies of the Federation.





Allocations to beneficiary agencies of the Jewish Federation for the 2019/20 year (not including designated gifts)

Part of the increase can be attributed to the increase in the amount raised by the Combined Jewish Appeal in the 2018/19 campaign: $5.89 million, which was up $14,000 from the previous year’s total.
As well, there were increases in the amounts derived from other sources of funds, including endowments, interest from investments and grants.
The report of the Allocations Committee noted that the budgets of all the beneficiary agencies combined added up to a total of $32 million. Of that $32 million, “Salaries and Benefits constitute 69% (ranging from 29% – 92%) of the total agency budgets”.

Altogether the Allocations Committee recommended giving $2,750,000 to the beneficiary agencies of the Federation.
In addition to those allocations, a number of the agencies will also receive funds from “designated gifts”: “those gifts made by top donors that exceed their base gift to the overall CJA Campaign) that are designated for specific beneficiaries in Winnipeg and in Israel.” (In a separate email received from Rebecca Brask, CJA Campaign Director for the Federation, Rebecca noted that “Donors who contribute $18,000+ to the CJA are given the opportunity to designate any gift above that amount.” (The accompanying graph on this page shows the total of designated gifts.)

Insofar as actual allocations to beneficiary agencies are concerned, two items stand out for attention: An increase of $25,000 in funding for Jewish Child and Family Services and a huge increase in the allocation request from the Simkin Centre over what it had been given the previous year - from $9,000 to $69,000. (The actual increase in the amount to be allocated to the Simkin Centre was only $3,309 - to $12,309.)
In its report the Allocations Committee noted the growth in requests for services provided by Jewish Child and Family Services: “The Agency identified increasing needs in: addictions services; older adults, particularly Holocaust survivors and mental health; and general mental health services. The depth of these cases requires more time spent on each one. Servicing high risk cases of various types requires the appropriate staff and experience which are paramount to achieving a positive outcome. They continue to examine all their options to satisfy need for office and meeting space that is required as a result of staff growth. Our Jewish community is very fortunate to have JCFS. They meet the needs of more than one third of the community efficiently and with exceptional governance, with long term vision and planning. The growth and case load requirements of this agency surpass that of all other beneficiary agencies.” (emphasis mine).
(Ed. note: Following each JCFS Annual General Meeting, we’ve been reporting on the year-over-year increases in requests for services provided by that agency. In a future issue, we plan on taking a more detailed look at just why there has been such a huge growth in those requests for services.)

As far as the request from the Simkin Centre for increased funding goes, in November 2018 we reported on the tremendous pressures faced by the kitchen staff of the Simkin Centre in having to provide residents with three meals a day - including special meals for residents with particular dietary needs - plus any additional snacks, on a budget of only $8.40/day (a figure given to me by a spokesperson for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority in response to an email sent in November.) And remember: the food has to be kosher, as well.
Further, there has not been an increase in the allocations provided by the WRHA for all Personal Care Homes in Winnipeg since 2011/12. Here is what the spokesperson for the WRHA wrote to me when I asked when was the last time there had been an increase in allocations for PCH’s: “The last supply cost increase provided was back in 2011/12. This is also the last year that MHSAL (Manitoba Health) provided the WRHA with an increase for this type of allocation. This supply cost increase was meant to target any and all areas of cost pressure (2% increase in supplies), including food.”
I wondered, therefore, whether the request from the Simkin Centre for additional funding in the amount of $60,000 over what it had been allocated in 2018/19 was to help with the spiralling cost of food, especially kosher food. So I asked Laurel Malkin, President of the Jewish Federation this question: “I’m still wondering why the request from Simkin Centre was for $69,000? That would have been an 800% increase over what they received last year.
“No other agency asked for so much more than it had received last year. Was the money to go for food, I wonder? What did it say in the centre’s presentation to the committee?”
Laurel’s answer was: “Yes, the huge increase was for food.”