A Letter from Agape Feast Coordinator: Jason WilliamsOctober 1, 2012
Dear Brite Students, Thanks so much for your interest in how the budget process works for our Community Conversations and Agape Feast meals. The purpose of this email is to explain how Student Fees and weekly donations combine to cover the expenses associated with our weekly meals. I am a very big fan of transparency, and it is important to make sure that everyone understands how the process works. Last year, I found myself also questioning what was going on with the money that was collected in the form of donations to subsidize the costs of the meals. So here is the breakdown as I understand it. Essentially, we take $20.00 out of each student’s fees for the semester to go toward funding both our Agape Feasts as well as our Community Conversations. Once our supervisor’s ascertain how many Agape and Community Conversation meals will be held during the semester, we are allotted a budgeted amount per meal. For this year, from student fees alone, I have a budget of $155.00 and some change per Agape meal, and that is before any of the collections taken at the meals are added to this total. After any donations are collected prior to each meal, at least two different people count the money and sign off on the total, which is recorded on the sign in sheet. The next day I turn in all the money collected, plus the sign in sheet, and the receipt from the meal to my supervisor, the Dean’s secretary. Some weeks we do better than others. For example, this week, the meal we shared from Thai Select cost a total of $300.00, and we collected a total of $55.00 from donations. If you add the $55.00 from donations to our $155.00 budgeted amount for the week, we had approximately $210.00 to spend. Since the meal was $300.00 this week, we were $90.00 short this week, so to speak. But I knew that we were ahead on the budget, and could afford a special treat this week. Last week, we had pizza from Perotti’s. The total cost of the pizza was $136.00 and some change. Last week we took in $102.00 in donations, and if you add $102.00 in donations to the $155.00 we had budgeted for the meal, we could have spent $257.00 last week on food and broken even on the week. Since we only spent $136.00 last week, we gained approximately $121.00 toward our budget for the year. So some weeks we spend less than our budgeted amount, and other weeks we spend more. If there is any money left over at the end of the semester from our food budget for Agape Feast and Community Conversations, all of the extra funds roll over to the next semester. I appreciate your interest in how this process works, because everyone has a right to know this information. Sorry for the lengthy email, but I wanted to give you as many details as possible, because I had similar questions last year. Last but not least, I just want to point out that neither Amber nor myself gets paid anything for our roles in coordinating these events. We are strictly volunteers and provide all of our services and resources completely free of charge. We are very grateful for the opportunity to serve in this capacity. Thanks so much to all of you who attend and participate in these special weekly gatherings, as they present unique opportunities for worship, fellowship, conversation, and the sharing of food with one another.
Have a great remainder to your week,