Kitchen meeting minutes for 1/5

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REDUCING BUDGET

We spend about $6,000 per week. Finance wants us to have a clear idea of what we are using. We aren’t spending the total $10,500 each week. There isn’t an average available at this time.

Need a plan to reduce the budget. Do we take proposals from outside groups to feed people?

Josh – Working groups shouldn’t come to us for food. Should go to GA and get approval. Or if they want food, they may want to be fed and get minutes for that.  That brings up some problems like security – Rafael (of Security) can’t move around and get food they need.

Dayna says if we don’t provide food for outside events we need to repeatedly announce this to GA and others.

Bill – We are going to have to announce at GA because now they are instructed to come to Kitchen. Seems better to come here than GA, but if we consistently spend less than that is a good thing, but the budget is high because of the anticipation of providing food to a lot of diff working groups.

Ice argues that we should feed people who are doing action. Wants to support occupiers and demonstrators not run soup kitchen.  No transparency. No clarity. And feels that people look to him for answers. People must understand food is action. Wants to discuss finance people.

Leroy – so just like gentleman who talked at the beginning of the meeting…I want to know what our main responsibilities are – Feed Zuccotti? Feed people at Wall? Feed people at Actions? It needs to be clarified and made into a mission statement. Because if people come to us for proposals for food, but like I said, it’s not predictable, so we need a core responsibility and then other proposals are secondary.

Facilitator speaks – one of the biggest problems with our community we have to pass many financial proposals per week. Seems ineffective to do that in a consensus process every week. Food proposals will make them even more. TO make a movement like this with a central fund is to have budgets. All the money for food goes under one budget. All the money for outreach goes under one fund.

Bill – I really like clarifying the mission. Every day food gets sent to Atrium. Spokes Councils get fed. Churches might get food if on the way. Now, at the Atrium for breakfast and lunch, cereal and sandwiches are there. Most people know that you go to the Atrium for food requests.  Agree that people come to Kitchen for food requests.

Josh – If we are going to have all these groups coming to us, we are going to need money to do that. Cap is 10 grand, each week we take out something different if that is the case. I agree with Ice that I don’t philosophically anymore if continuing to do what we have been doing is right. We should be empowering people to get involved in actions, but instead, we are debilitating people who are being selfish or feeling that it is a soup kitchen. So, why should we continue as a kitchen enabling people to be that way, when we could do greater things with our time.  Clarifying question: Is feeding outside people like a soup kitchen? Response, feels that they have failed to understand core mission statement.  Need to figure out who we are going to feed.

Eric – First, I propose that we come up with three specific times that we feed. Second, take proposals for food, but write up criteria for proposals so that we don’t have to go through every proposal. We would decide them so they get the money. Third, Basically don’t like calling 60 wall st a soup kitchen. 60 Wall St was full of people doing all sorts of good stuff.

Ice – Fascinating wonderful people have to schedule things around Kitchen’s schedule. If we don’t feed them, then we fail, and Kitchen is always failing. As a group we never get to take consensus on a lot of decisions. Josh is accountable for it. I didn’t consensus it.( Others challenge that it was consensed).  As a group, we have to stop this. Kitchen always gets pushed into a corner. We get coerced by who knows who.

Bonnie says that we don’t have a good image on the outside because many people think we waste a lot of money. Proposes we don’t support outside groups until we have a tight set of procedures and budget that we know what we can extend our projects too. It is too massive to take on outside projects. We have to go on a diet tonight.

Anthony – For groups that want to bring stuff in , they can bring it up at Spokes Council, not just GA. I am not a vegan, not vegetarian, and feel deprived of protein. Really wants some meat. Today I didn’t eat anything because it was only fruits and veggies. Other challenged that there was meat there.

This discussion needs to be about reducing budget…should we take special events?

Faith – I am going to expand on what Josh was saying to reduce budget, until we establish what we are doing in this movement, we shouldn’t’ be worried about anything we are doing. We should only do thins with Outreach or DA, then we should have food. I don’t think we should be serving food at all otherwise. It’s been 4 months now, and we haven’t established anything. Until we establish something, we should just focus on feeding people, but support direct actions with food.

Some folks say lets cut back now, and build back up. One is to cut back on special events and serve basic meals and the other is serve special events and cut basic meals.

Evelyn – Movement should continue to be fed. It could be done with budgetary considerations in mind. Nutritious  meals can still be planned. DA people should be fed, for example the drummers will be out and should be fed. Maybe it can be simple – we don’t need meat protein to survive. OWS Is no different than other movements where deadbeats exist. I don’t want us to lose sight of supporting the activists. We need nutrients to have a movement.

Kyle – I pretty much agree with Faith – I served at 60 Wall St – and 80% are people that don’t do shit. I looked up and had never seen them do a thing. Wants to feed the people doing direct action. Discussion continues to ask how much jetro runs? Someone says 7 or 800 dollars. That is a drop in the bucket. HE wants to continue to support 60 wall st and most food go to direct actions. Spokes Council, GA, Drum Circle should still be served. But we don’t need to feed them like they are the hometown buffet. They don’t need to eat like Kings.

Jason – I am with Kyle on this. I rarely go on marches. On the march the other day, DA didn’t tell us about the event because they wanted it to be a secret, and that is why we didn’t feed the marchers. I am homeless and gave up everything to be here. I need to be fed. Tired of elitism.

Facilitator requests that we not make this personal.

Bill – 1) All about feeding people at actions. Really hard to get it there. One driver that gets food between 1- 5. We can’t do early or late because you need someone to pick it up.  2) I think keeping food where people are used to getting it. I think it’s really important we do that.

Josh – says we should have two meals a day, breakfast (super easy because it is just cereal) and dinner, and that we continue proposals from working groups. The way we do it people come to us with a proposal to feed or give them money for a specific event to have food. I think we should still do that. We have people create a form and we discuss it at a meeting. IF ti is a lot of money we let accounting know ahead of time. The question is should these proposals be taken to GA or to us? What kind of proposals do we support. Folks will have to go to GA for some events.

Thomas – Point of Info – I was just at GA a little while ago, someone put forward a proposal that got tabled on a total freeze on spending. We need to make our presence at the next GA in terms of where food fits in. The budget freeze may change everything.

Ice – we have to put it all in perspective. Food sustains the people that create the actions that bring notoriety to the movement. We must reduce our budget. Friendly amendment to make sure that we do not mess up the two meals if we do go with Josh’s proposal.

Kyle – Instead of giving people money for actions, we should give them food.

Jason – There is a group that has been feeding people for almost nothing for 30 years – called Food Not Bombs – let’s not reinvent the wheel. I’d like to see someone call them.  Direct Response: We are in contact with them.

Jason – When we were in ZPark and then they came to kitchen and put the money in the box because they saw we were the center of the community. Maybe we need to recreate that center of community. Let’s ask livestream to help us show what we are doing everyday. PBJ and oatmeal are good enough.

Temp check on Josh’s proposal 2 meals (breakfast and dinner) with some proposals – amendments try to feed those actions out of food we are already making out of liberty kitchen.

Temp Check on using things like pbj and cheaper foods to cut down on costs.

Concerns:

Evelyn – My concern is that we are feeding people nutritious food. I am in the food justice sub-committee. We are under such corporate control, and we need to focus on eating as local, organic, and family-scale as possible. A lot of processed food in SIS that is poison. I think we can feed the movement healthy food. I will lead the break out group. Otherwise we look like hypocrites.

Josh – Related to what Kyle said about using food from kitchen. I think that is unpractical to feed DA events. The driver is a problem. These are sporadic things that give us short notice. We should use these actions to fit in under contingent proposal.  Direct Response we should talk to Jason who is all about going to actions. Tell people to set up and ask people to try to find transportation for it.

Grey Hat – We do have a limited time frame in terms of what we need to cut. A schedule would be good especially if the volume increases. We have to be prepared to meet them in the kitchen.

Gray Shirt – Point of Concern about events being spontaneous but there are events planned and dated.

Ice – we can’t cut out the action. Need to make sure we have weekday and weekend schedule.

Jason – SIS is doing a little restructuring. With a couple heaters, hot water heaters, and some wagons, and 2 metro cards, I can feed any event that I get 24 hours notice on.

The proposal so far:

$5,000 for the regular meals, which will be:

Breakfast (by Johny) & dinner (by Liberty Cafe) M-F

Brunch (by Leticia) & dinner on the weekend.

AMENDMENT to above proposal that asks proposers to find transportation for the food.

ICE – Never lose action to try to cut budget

Sam arrives with a separate proposal on the same topic. Several minutes of confusion as people try to figure out how similar it is and why it wasn’t brought earlier (since we’re no 90 minutes into this proposal). Group concludes it’s close enough to keep going.

Facilitator asks for consensus, but Sam blocked because she wanted to understand the proposal we’ve been working with up to this point. Facilitator reiterates.

Kelly explaining for kitchen to reduce budget

Kelly (from Finance) wants clarification on whether or not GA empowered us to field proposals for food or budget. Sam found special events included in minutes from earlier meeting & accepted by GA.

Temperature check passes and no blocks, proposal and amendments are consensed upon!

Breakout group led by Ice to vet proposal criteria by Sunday.

Breakout group led by Vevlyn to discuss eliminating factory foods from Kitchen.

  1. Do we accommodate restricted diets?
  2. Need to consider locations and hours.

Next up: New year’s eve reimbursement.

Eric overspent, story of why that happened. Should we reimburse him?

Does he have all receipts? yes

Group consensus passes this.

 

Weekly Transportation for Liberty Cafe.

James proposes the need for a system to travel to and from Liberty Cafe.

Someone suggests we buy single ride cards in bulk and send them to Liberty Cafe.

James thinks he needs 7 to 8 weekly metro cards for the  kitchen workers.

Thomas says buy $9 weekly cards for some.

Kyle says have $2.50 cards on hand both in town and at Liberty.

James thinks they can take about 5 unlimiteds

Vevlyn asks for a mixture of unlimiteds and pay-per-rides

6 unlimited weekly cards for the dedicated ppl.

Bill suggests having some $4.50 cards for one-timers, and the weekly unlimiteds that are given should be to people who come to a meeting to get it approved by the kitchen each week.

James, accepts this friendly amendment for next week.

 

 

Meal Locations and Hours

Amendment to have 3 or 4 people In case the ball is dropped and one person is gone.  Another person, can start up.

 

 

Financial Point people

Kelly explains that we need to consense upon two people to be our financial point people. These will be the go-betweens for us and Finance and will be in charge of getting our cash, collecting receipts, giving them to Finance, etc. If we don’t have them selected by tomorrow, we can’t get our budget tomorrow.

Ice is nominated

Faith is nominated

Joshua is nominated

Samantha is nominated

Faith suggests rotating point people each month.

After some discussion it’s adjusted to just electing them, not necessarily “rotating” them (e.g. we can reelect the same folks if we want to.)

Ice and Joshua are consensed upon as the financial point people for the next month.

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