Annual Report - 2014
Reporting on July 2014 - March 2015
Chair (Dave I.)
The World Service Board (WSB) generally meets one time per month for two hours by telephone. Twice this year, we were able to also meet in person, once in June at the 2014 FA World Service Business Convention and again for a weekend at the 2014 FA Fellowship Convention in October. General business at each meeting, included the passing of minutes, the passing of each financial report (quarterly), and monthly check-ins from each board member regarding all WSI standing committees. Updates were also provided regarding each WSB standing committee, including the book, design, finance, inquiry response, and personnel committees (see individual reports below). The Board Motions Review Committee reviewed the three motions proposed and planned for the 2015 FA World Service Business Convention.
On a sad – and grateful note – Lynne Johnston, our wonderful office manager, who has looked after our office since 2009, resigned from her position this year. Lynne is the person who answers the FA office phone; responds to our emails; does our bookkeeping; supports our WSB Treasurer; keeps the office organized; maintains office files and supplies; disseminates mass emails from the WSB; supports Adrienne, our office director; and supports our business conventions by working the registration desk at the convention. Lynne, we will miss you dearly and wish you all the very best in your future endeavors.
We have hired a part-time employee from our fellowship, Ann Marie, to help in the office until the business convention. We so appreciate Adrienne C., our office director, and all that the office staff does to keep our organization afloat.
I want to also thank Jane M, who stepped down from chair of the Office Committee. Jane did an amazing job for us during her tenure. Thanks so much to Margaret M. for stepping into Jane’s role. You have tough shoes to fill, but so far, as expected, you have been a wonderful addition to our board.
Below is a brief summary of some of the amazing work our chairs and their respective committees are doing on behalf of our fellowship. Thank you to all for all of your remarkable work. Without you, our organization would simply not be what it is today. A more detailed overview of each committee’s work is in the report below. In summary, committee worked has included the following:
- The Literature Committee completed the first draft of the Living Abstinently pamphlet; Qualifications on CDs were made available in MP3 format; and a German translation was completed for the pamphlet Food Addiction: There is a Solution and for the Just For Today card.
- I am pleased to report that connection has been in the black for this entire fiscal year. Our magazine is thriving! The connection Committee is also making plans to launch a digital version of connection that should be in place by the end of 2015.
- The Service Group Support Committee created a wider base this year for worldwide communication through bi-monthly conference calls, which are open to everyone in the fellowship interested in doing service. This conference call gives people a chance to share what they are doing in their service group (at the intergroup and locals levels), hear what other groups are doing, ask questions, and get feedback on ideas in a safe, open, supportive environment. With the change in focus from chapters to local service groups, the number of service groups has grown significantly and more people are learning about FA all over the world.
- The PI committee’s efforts continue to reach health fairs, health care organizations, and faith community outreach. They also help to find ways to utilize social media and media outlets, develop trifolds and PI kits, and continue to find better ways of holding information sessions.
- This year, on behalf of the FA fellowship, we purchased the domain name: www.foodaddicts.com. As you know, our current web address is: www.foodaddicts.org. This means if you enter foodaddicts.com (a more popular domain name) into your web browser, you will go directly to our site. We felt this would increase traffic to our website. Perhaps even more importantly, it will prevent anyone else from using this domain name in the future. Our current web address will remain the same.
- The Twelfth Step Committee's activities included the production of four Gratitude in Action newsletters, distribution of almost monthly e-communications geared for and sent to frontier members, and management of frontier phone, frontier sponsor, and universal language lists. They added several new links to the website for ease in signups, oversaw the coordination of the annual Thank-a-Thons, and initiated the translation of the meeting format to Braille.
To say the least, this has been another productive year. The remainder of this report provides a detailed overview of the incredible work accomplished over the past twelve months. The combined efforts of each committee chair and their members clearly demonstrate the meaning of “gratitude in action.” All have served so graciously and with amazing dedication. As a fellowship, we are truly blessed. No doubt, we will continue to reach the food addict who still suffers.
WSB Inquiry Response (IRC) Committee (Jamie M.)
The Inquiry Response Committee is responsible for handling inquiries made to the FA World Service Board or to the FA World Service Office. Responses are made by telephone to inquiries received from both FA members and non-members. An IRC member attempts to reach the inquirer within two weeks of the initial contact. The IRC consists of three FA members with at least seven years of abstinence and the WSB secretary, who serves as an ex-officio member of the committee.
The IRC Committee often submits traditions-related issues to the Traditions Review Committee (TRC) for review and response. If necessary, the IRC may ask a member of the TRC to make the phone call to the inquirer.
Samples of recent inquiries and responses:
- Inquiry: An FA member’s inquiry was referred to the IRC by the FA Office regarding an issue with her meeting. She was concerned about the newcomers in her meeting, because many individuals were using the qualification time to share, in great detail, stories of their abusive past.
- Response: We had a good conversation about the need for qualifications to address the newcomer and to focus on food addiction. We suggested that the FA member share her concerns at her group’s business meeting. We gave her some reference points to use when she brings this up at the business meeting to better communicate to the group why it is important to emphasize the elements of our experience, strength, and hope for the newcomer. We referred her to our meeting guidelines handout, and Document 2 on the FA website, and discussed how the information in those documents could help to guide those sharing for the newcomer.
- Inquiry: An inquirer had some concerns about a meeting that she doesn’t regularly attend. She had qualified and was concerned because the speaker-getter did not have 90 days of abstinence and, although it didn’t happen that time, she had heard that the meeting usually closes early and then opens informally for anyone to share. There were other concerns that she felt were not in the best interests of the newcomer.
- Response: We had a discussion suggesting that she initiate a dialogue with some of the meeting members with longer-term abstinence regarding her concerns. We shared some of the valuable resources that we have on our website to help her with her conversations with the group members. We also explained that we have many resources to share (CDs, connection, FA Book, other FA literature) that can enable meetings to provide a full dose of FA recovery every week. It was also pointed out that there is a fundamental and secondary issue, which may be that this meeting doesn't have enough members with abstinence to succeed, especially since our usual recommendation is to start meetings with at least two members with six or more months of abstinence. We stressed that ultimately we are not here to “police” meetings, but to help them in their primary focus of serving the newcomer.
Vice Chair (Jamie M.)
- Participated in the WSB Executive Committee’s monthly meetings and provided input for executive decisions.
- Participated in the WSB monthly meetings and offered help to committee chairs when necessary.
- Provided support to the WSB Chair for board issues and for the ongoing WSB meetings.
- Helped the convention chair with the planning for the 2015 business convention.
- Provided ongoing support to the office manager and the chair of the Office Committee in the running of the FA office and helped in the process of hiring a new part-time office manager.
- Proposed two motions that came out of concerns from our fellowship and drafted the motions for the By-Law Committee review.
- Sat on the Finance Committee, in which capacity I served as the representative to the WSB on finance issues.
- Chaired the Personnel Committee, which helps ensure that employees and independent contractors for the organization are being managed appropriately and constructively.
- Chaired the Inquiry Response Committee and helped to communicate with inquirers regarding concerns related to FA.
- Assisted with fielding and answering inquiries to the FA Office regarding various issues.
Treasurer (Holli N.)
The FA organization continues to be financially sound. To date, in fiscal year 2015, Seventh Tradition donations are up 15% over 2013, and our expenses are well within budget. During this fiscal year, Seventh Tradition donations made possible the purchase of the foodaddicts.com url, participation in national health fair events, website optimization, and assistance to newcomers and FA members through our staff at the FA office. We also transitioned to a new banking relationship with Peoples Bank, and a volunteer is now creating procedures that will enable the smooth transition from one treasurer to the next.
WSI Committee Reports
Bylaws Committee (Marti Mc., Chair)
- The WSB Bylaws Committee worked with the Board Motions Review Committee on three board motions for presentation to the 2015 business conference members.
- Committee chairs have updated the WSB Standing Committees Procedures Manual, which has been posted on the website.
- The WSB manual is in the process of being updated and will be posted when completed.
Service Group Support Committee (SGSC) (Norma Jean P., Chair)
- The SGSC sponsors bi-monthly conference calls for any person interested in doing service beyond the meeting level.
- The focus this year has been on developing local service groups. Some of you may know a local group by the name “meeting of the meetings” or “area service group” or “local service group.” The name is irrelevant. The purpose of these meetings is to combine efforts of members from several different meeting groups in order to reach the still- suffering food addict who does not yet know about FA.
- Local service groups have developed, or are in process of developing, in areas of Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, California, North Carolina, Maryland, DC, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Toronto, and Germany.
- We are looking forward to helping these service groups grow as we continue to share ideas and more effectively “get the word out.”
connection Committee (Adrienne P., Chair)
- The connection Committee is pleased to report that we have been in the black for this entire fiscal year. Thanks so much for everyone's support and service in helping the magazine to thrive.
- We are currently making plans to launch a digital version of connection that should be in place by the end of 2015.
- Along with the invaluable contributions of both articles and artwork from our fellowship, we are confident that the quality and substance of connection will continue to evolve.
Convention Planning Committee (Ebony F., Chair)
2014 FA Fellowship Convention
- On October 24-26, 2014, food addicts from all over the world gathered together to attend the fourth FA Fellowship Convention. The Fellowship Convention was held in Santa Clara, California and was attended by 847 people. The fellowship convention continues to be an opportunity for fellows from around the world to come together to build community and connection and to strengthen their recovery through shared experience, strength, and hope.
- Plans are currently underway to determine the date and location of the next fellowship convention.
2015 FA World Service Business Convention
- Planning for the 2015 FA World Service Business Convention, taking place from May 29-31, 2015 at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Danvers, Massachusetts, has been underway for the past several months. In order to better plan for the event, the decision was made to close online registration, including meal-plan purchase, on May 8. No meal plans will be available for purchase onsite, but onsite registration will be open (this will include a late fee).
- At the business convention, three motions will be discussed, several board positions will turn over, and other reports on FA committee activities throughout the year will be presented. There will also be meetings for all WSI standing committees on Saturday and Sunday.
- Saturday afternoon will feature a session on using the FA website and there will be a sharing session. On Saturday evening, we will hold our third annual Mocktail Party, complete with entertainment and dancing. Sunday morning we will have a sharing meeting, where we will hear from people with 20 years or more of abstinence (of course, all are welcome to attend).
- Further information regarding the tentative convention schedule, a sample food plan, and transportation and lodging information will be posted on our website in the coming weeks and will be emailed to all convention registrants. If you would like to volunteer at the convention or have any questions about the convention, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Upcoming Business Convention Dates and Location:
- 2016: June 3-5, 2016 at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Danvers, Massachusetts
- 2017: June 2-4, 2017 at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Danvers, Massachusetts
Literature Committee (LC) (Jennifer N., Chair)
- Determined the need to fold the Book Committee into the Literature Committee, which has facilitated the creation of a new LC structure that includes two new committees. This will officially take place in next fiscal year.
- Gained approval from the WSI board to use professional writers moving forward, and for the Literature Committee to maintain a budget to support writing and translation needs.
- The Writing and Editing Subcommittees are continuing to work on revising Living Abstinently.
- The Recordings Subcommittee posted six new audio recordings from the 2014 FA Fellowship Convention.
- The CD Subcommittee was renamed the Recordings Subcommittee.
- The Translation Committee, in conjunction with the Office Committee and Design Committee, completed publication of the Just for Today card and Food Addition: There is a Solution.
- In conjunction with the WSI office, we created a new process for the design and publication of pamphlets. This includes a new relationship with our web developer, PMG, which will manage the publication moving forward.
- We are continuing to work on reviewing and updating the translation procedures in the LC committee procedures.
- We are working with China to have meeting format and other documents informally translated.
Office Committee (Margaret H., Chair)
Downloadable MP3 files of the FA speaker “tapes” became available on the FA website as a cheaper and more easily accessible option to CDs.
- Newly designed banners and a tablecloth, all with the new FA logo, were made available for purchase for PI purposes.
- Each FA meeting’s subscriptions to connection were linked to the meeting’s connection representative, meaning that the subscriptions automatically transfer to the new connection representative when there is a change in that service position.
- The FA book was made available for purchase on our website as an eBook.
- Intergroups and the Maine chapter are able to more easily share documents thanks to the FA Workspace Project completed this year.
- Improvements were made to our website database and to our online registration form that made it easier for service work to be done at the intergroup and chapter levels.
- Historical sections on FA speaker CDs and MP3s were developed on our website.
Public Information Committee (Kris M., Chair)
Magazine Editorial Calendars
We recently retained a new public relations consultant who will help us go through magazine editorial calendars and help us get placements when there are relevant story topics. FA recently submitted a piece for Self Magazine, which didn’t get published, but we did get a placement in The Active Times: http://www.theactivetimes.com/non-traditional-weight-loss-methods-actually-work
New banners, Tablecloths & PI materials
To order the new PI materials, click on “Order Items,” then click on “PI Materials,” then “Place Orders.” then scroll down to “PI Materials.” You can then order:
- Vertical Banners: These banners are 80” high and about 34” wide. Each banner comes in a carrying case containing a metal base from which you can simply pull the banner up, like you would a projector screen. There are four to choose from and each costs $228.
- Banner 1: The “What is FA?” banner includes stats about FA and gives a brief
- Banner 2: A generic FA banner, meant mainly for large health conferences, which simply reads, “FA for health professionals. FA for patients. FA for friends. FA for family FA for you.”
- Banner 3: The FA 20
- Banner 4: The FA 20 Questions in Spanish (Veinte Preguntas).
- Tablecloth: 6’ ($167) and 8,’ (188).
- Horizontal banner: ($181) This banner is best hung on a wall behind a table or at the back of a booth. It must be hung with banner tape, rope from the grommets, or hooks.
A survey for 2015 is currently in process. The questions will be the same as on the last survey and will include additional questions so that we can gather data that is relevant for the healthcare community.
Google Analytics & Google AdWords
This year, with the help of members in the US and Australia, Google granted FA a non-profit grant to run Internet keyword campaigns. What this means is that when people on the Internet conduct a search on a variety of keywords, they will more easily be able to find the FA website. Currently the program is focused in areas where there are FA meetings.
Google Analytics allows us to see where web traffic (hits to the FA website) are coming from. In less than one week, we’ve had 691 click-throughs from the ads to the FA website. Without the Google non-profit grant, this would have cost FA $1,027, but the Google grant gives $9,000 per month, which allows many more web visitors to click through to get to the FA website. Via Google Analytics, we are now able to see that 20,851 visitors visited the FA website in the month of February and to see from which sites (i.e. which links from Weblinks and college sites).
Another worldwide FA effort included the posting of a new profile on Wikipedia. It is comprehensive and lists press articles mentioning FA or related food-addiction topics. The profile was just posted in February and has already received 400 hits. The FA Wikipedia post can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_Addicts_in_Recovery_Anonymous
Blogwatch is the mechanism for FA members to send, over blogs, where they would like to have FA post a comment. This is to discourage FA members from posting about FA on social media. If you see a blog where you’d like to see a comment about FA, please email email@example.com. In total, FA posts from BlogWatch are currently posted on 265 blogs. A recent successful BlogWatch post was on Huffington Post from 2/26, responding to their article The Not-So-Secret World of Eating Disorders. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mckenzie-maxson/the-not-so-secret-world-o_b_6757358.html
April 1, 2015 (April 2014 – March 2015)
The purpose of MediaWatch is to increase the awareness of the existence of FA among professionals, such as healthcare professionals, authors, journalists, professors, and researchers. Media Watch sent out 2252 contacts this year and 1151 contacts in 2014. While it is not our purpose to solicit responses, about 5% of the people we contacted took the time to respond to our email. Typically they thank us for letting us know about FA and/or let us know that they will investigate our website. We have had several professionals attend an FA meeting to learn more about us as a result of receiving the MediaWatch email, so keep them coming to firstname.lastname@example.org when you see an article or a show mentioning something related to food addiction.
Average # of MediaWatch Contacts per month
Average # of Personal Responses per month
- March 2014 - March 2015
- New college sites added: 24
- Non-college sites added: 450
- American Medical Association (AMA) societies at the state level (included in non- college sites number) sites added: 6
New colleges linked this year: 24
- University of Alaska, Anchorage, AL
- Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, CA
- Washington State University, WA
- Brooklyn College, NY
- Colleges of Canyons, Santa Clara
- Anne Arundel Community College, MD
- Gannon University, Erie, PA
- Madonna University, Livonia, MI
- Skyline College, Oakland, CA
- University of Florida, College of Medicine, FL
- University of California, San Francisco: Coast Center For Obesity Assessment Study & Treatment, C
- ICDC College, Los Angeles, CA
- Chaminade University of Honolulu: Eating Disorders Resources Referral Manual, H
- Lambton College: My Lambton: Addictions, ON, Canada
- Valdosta State University, GA
- Quincy College: Resources for Students, Quincy, MA
- Samuel Merritt University: Local & National 12 Step Groups, Oakland, CA
- San Mateo Jr. College, CA
- Texas State University, San Marcos, TX
- Dartmouth Center for Addiction & Recovery, Dartmouth University, NH
- Santa Ana College: Helpful Links, CA
- University of Mass, Amherst, Center for Women and Community, MS
- University of Mass, Boston, Health Services, MA
Non-college new links added by month: 450
- 14-Apr - 26
- 14-May - 22
- 14-Jun - 29
- 14-Jul - 26
- 14-Aug - 41
- 14-Sep - 43
- 14-Oct - 34
- 14-Nov - 98
- 14-Dec - 22
- 15-Jan - 29
- 15-Feb - 54
- 15-Mar - 26
- TOTAL: 450
AMA Society Sites Linked: 6
- San Mateo: http://www.smcma.org/patient-resources/health-resources-san-mateo- county#EatingDisorders
- Riverside:www.rcmanet.org/Patients/CommunityResources/HealthLinks.aspx San Diego: http://www.sdcms.org/ Oregon:http://www.theoma.org/media/public-health-fact-sheets-3#Tools
- San Bernardo County's Medical Society:
- Merced-Mariposa Medical Society: Links, CA http://www.mmcms.org/for- patients/patient-resources.aspx
Health Conferences & Events
This year our long-time healthcarewatch chair stepped down to be the Western Area Intergroup public information chair. We have been focused heavily on the American Diabetes Association (ADA), which is having an event in Boston the week after this year’s business convention, and the American Thoracic Society (serving pulmonologists who treat sleep apnea).
In 2014 we attended the following events, and we extend enormous thanks to the local FA members who supported the following:
- February - Diabetes Expo in Denver, where we had a booth, a huge response, lots of visitors, and a resulting story in the local Denver TV media.
- March - Diabetes Expo in New York City, where we also hosted a booth and had a huge response. We gave out 267 trifold brochures to the public and healthcare professionals.
- April - American College of Physicians in Orlando, where we had a booth where healthcare professionals came by. This resulted in interest from a doctor in Ohio who wanted a panel of local FA members to speak to his patients. Another doctor wanted waiting-room booklets to mail to obese patients. An effective tool was that an FA member brought an iPad to look up FA meetings by zip code for conference attendees.
- May - National Associa,tion of Addiction Treatment Providers in Charlotte, where we hosted a booth and provided 500 trifolds for the attendee participant bags.
- June - Create Your Future Health Summit in Silicon Valley, CA, an event that was technically put on by the local chapter of the Peninsula Special Interest Lions Club, but it is the only one with a Medical Wellness & Educational Club and serves communities worldwide. This summit was a national conference attracting speakers such as Martha Stewart and Dr. Oz. We had a booth, and there was very low turnout, so we will not attend again. However, doctors did stop by the FA booth.
- September - Obesity Action Coalition “Your Weight Matters” conference in Orlando, where we had a booth and provided trifolds for the conference attendee participant bags.
- October - International Nurses Society on Addictions’ annual education conference in D.C., where we had a booth, attracted much interest, and gave out 15 FA books.
- October - National Conference on Food Addiction in Worcester, Mass., where we had a booth, gave out five FA books, and sent out an additional 15.
- November - Obesity Society’s Obesity Week conference in Boston, where we had a booth and had at least 70 healthcare professionals expressed interest. We gave out 20 FA books and mailed an additional 10 copies.
- November - Diabetes Expo in November in Atlanta, where we hosted a booth and gave out literature.
- Walks – NEDA (National Eating Disorders Association)
These are non-profit walks to raise awareness about eating disorders. At the finishing line of the walks (they’re not races), there are typically booths. We have attended a few, with mixed results. We haven’t scheduled to do any in 2015-2016, but last year we participated in: Charleston, SC, Los Angeles, CA, and Washington, D.C.
New to investigate and/or regulars to attempt to attend again in 2015-2016:
- American Academy of Sleep Medicine (sleep apnea), International Conference http://www.sleepmeeting.org/
- IAEDP – International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals
- ICED International Association Conference on Eating Disorders
- NAATP – National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers
- BEDA – Binge Eating Disorder Association
- Diabetes Expos – regional ADA conferences for the public
- American Psychological Association
- National Association of Social Workers
- NCAD – National Council on Addiction Disorders
- World Public Health Nutrition Association (UK)
- NEDA – National Eating Disorders Association
AMA Paper Plans – Margaret
The PI committee would like support on how to write and submit a paper like the one Bill W. did for the AMA. We would appreciate help from anyone familiar with developing and submitting medical papers.
Traditions Review Committee (Dan B., Chair)
- Individuals, meetings, chapters, intergroups, or the World Service Board may submit traditions-related inquiries by email to the Traditions Review Committee (TRC) at email@example.com
- Since the January quarterly report was published, the TRC received thirteen new issues, referred two others to board committees, and held two conference calls (January and March).
- In addition, the TRC subcommittees continued their work on the following projects:
- Historical Index Subcommittee – continued archival of TRC records
- Communication Subcommittee – published TRC content in winter Gratitude in Action
- The TRC looks forward to their next two meetings, to be held at the 2015 FA World Service Business Convention. All are welcome to attend.
The following are selected examples of tradition’s issues that were resolved during this quarter:
- Attraction vs. promotion – bumpers stickers and trifold displays
- Meeting location will not accept rent or donation
- Sharing CD collections among meetings
- Convention old-timer meeting
- Using Seventh Tradition funds to make a holiday party
- Donation In lieu of rent
- Donation in addition to rent for holiday gift
- Issue 1: Attraction vs. promotion. A new FA member submitted an inquiry. She stated that she understood that the program is not for everyone and that the organization follows the principle of attraction, rather than promotion. That said, she expressed concern that the word is not yet out about FA, and that people who could benefit from it simply do not yet know about FA. This member works in healthcare and knows that the impact of obesity, bad diets, and food addiction are devastating to so many people who do not know any better, and/or have failed countless times at attempts to control their eating and weight. She expressed a desire to place a bumper sticker on her car that says, "HONK IF YOU ARE A FOOD ADDICT," with a smaller subscript of www.foodaddicts.org. She believes this to be a simple, nonintrusive mechanism to potentially direct interested parties to the website to get additional information, in hopes they then will go to a meeting if they are motivated to do so. The member’s question was, “Would FA consider printing/supplying such bumper stickers?” If not, “Would FA be offended if they printed some?” If neither idea was supported, she asked that someone explain why that is the case.
Response: The Traditions Committee clearly understands that the FA member with this inquiry has good intentions that come from a place of service and gratitude. We also recognize that it is common for members experiencing success in FA to have a lot of exuberance for recovery and want to share their recovery by “shouting from rooftops,” handing out flyers indiscriminately, wearing buttons with “before” pictures on them, or handing out business cards, etc. Having said this, the Traditions Committee believes that using bumper stickers is “promotional” (which infringes on the Eleventh Tradition) and that it could be seen as trivializing our serious disease. If bumper stickers with the FA logo or website were used, it could definitely affect FA as a whole (Fourth Tradition).
For example, if someone who does not yet exhibit physical recovery (credible body size) has this bumper sticker on her car and is seen getting in or out of the car, a potential member could perceive that the FA program does not work. And, if someone is driving irresponsibly (yes, even people in recovery do this), this would not be a good reflection on FA as a whole. Of course, people have the right to choose to break their own anonymity by using a bumper sticker as described, but in this case, that choice may hurt FA as a whole, as noted in these examples. The TRC believes that the use of bumper stickers as a means to get the word out, whether made by FA or by an individual member, would not be in line with FA tradition. As an alternative, the Traditions Committee suggested that the member review existing public informational materials for other ways that members with experience have found successful in attracting, rather than promoting, FA recovery. We recommend patience and faith rather than advertising.
- Issue: 2: Meeting location won’t accept rent. A member contacted the TRC regarding holding an FA meeting in a county-operated center for senior citizens. It is not a residential building, rather a recreational facility that holds as many as 70 different programs and activities. The facility program manager requested that FA hold a meeting in order to offer its users an effective wellness program. Although the meeting would be open to members of the public, not only would the facility not want any payment of rent, the county has a rule that funds cannot be collected inside or outside, so the group would be barred from collecting any Seventh Tradition funds.
Response: The TRC looked at this issue from several perspectives in order to clarify its understanding of the situation and consider various options for resolving the issues presented. We appreciate the member’s attempts to explore various options and to offer more detailed explanations. In our discussions, the TRC unanimously agreed that although holding a meeting in this location may potentially involve the Third Tradition (if access were limited only to senior citizens) and the Sixth Tradition (giving the appearance of affiliating FA with a facility or outside enterprise), the larger challenge is the facility’s ban on collecting funds on the property. This prohibition is in direct opposition to our the Seventh Tradition, which, in its long form, states, “The FA groups themselves ought to be fully supported by the voluntary contributions of their own members.” Although the facility requests no payment of rent, there will be other expenses for literature and public information, as well as contributions to be made to the chapter, intergroup, or WSI, to support larger efforts to help suffering food addicts. Further, being self-supporting is a critical principle in securing and maintaining our individual recovery as addicts and, as such, it is important for us to uphold this on both levels. If it has not already been attempted, we recommend the group try to negotiate one final time with the facility managers to allow “passing the hat” during meetings. The explanation is that this is necessary for us to cover meeting expenses outside of “rent,” and that it is a mainstay of our principles, both as an organization and as individual-recovering addicts. If that were allowed, the TRC sees no issue with designating those funds as a donation to a local charity in lieu of rent to this facility. Given that this is a regulated government facility, however, we recognize that this may not be possible. In that event, unfortunately, there is no way that the meeting could be held in this facility and operate within the Seventh Tradition. The member may want to convey the group’s appreciation for their interest and offer for meeting space. Alternatively, given the center’s expressed interest, the group may consider holding a one-time information session in the facility, since generally no Seventh Tradition collection is taken during those sessions.
- Issue 3: Sharing CD collections among meetings. A member from a small fellowship with three meetings in the area asked for the TRC’s thoughts on the following issue. She explained that for some time they have had only two weekly meetings in their area and both occur in the same room, but on different days. Both meetings have been sharing the same FA CD collection. At one of their recent business meetings, a member was questioning if this practice of sharing CD collections was in violation of the Fourth Tradition, which states that each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or FA as a whole.
Response: The Fourth Tradition tells us that meetings are autonomous, and the Seventh Tradition states that meetings should be self-supporting. These traditions establish the principles on which to base the operation of our meetings. It follows that each meeting should have its own treasury to purchase its own supplies, pay its rent, and meet its other expenses. However, the reality is that we often have small meetings in small geographic areas, where the same people are attending multiple meetings and therefore share resources because it seems to be more convenient. In general, the TRC does not see a clear “traditions”-related issue with the practice of sharing CDs or other literature, banners, or public information efforts among meetings, in this situation. However, though there are no initial traditions concerns, the TRC believes, based on collective experience, that this is not a best practice, because problems often arise as fellowships grow and the issue becomes more complicated. Where does the meeting draw the line? Once the meetings start growing, it can become difficult to separate resources. Sharing CDs can be particularly troublesome. If the meetings do follow the Seventh Tradition and keep separate treasuries, but share CDs, how are the income and expenses tracked? How do people know which meeting owns which CD? What happens down the line if one meeting grows bigger than the other and can afford to buy more resources and the smaller meeting cannot keep up? What if one meeting strays from the FA standards and requirements? On a related note, meetings often “rent” CDs rather than sell them outright. In this practice, a member pays an amount that is refunded upon return of the CD. Referring to the meeting guidelines, Document 6, this practice has been deemed acceptable, as long as the cost of the rental covers the cost of replacement. It is not advisable to provide a rental at any discount, since if the member does not return the CD, the meeting would suffer a financial loss and therefore not be self-supporting. In summary, the TRC believes that the best practice is to keep entirely separate treasuries and resources. However, if meeting group conscience feels differently, some meetings partially mitigate these issues by writing the meeting day/time on each CD and having separate sign-out lists.
- Issue: 4: Convention old-timer meeting. A member of our fellowship raised a concern about the fellowship convention’s decision to have meetings in which exclusively people with multiple years of abstinence would be invited to share. She feels this (1) suggests that some members are more important than other members, (2) could cause people who struggle with abstinence to feel shame, and (3) raises concern with the First, Third, and Twelfth Traditions.
Response: The Traditions Committee reviewed the issues and raised the following points. The idea of the 15-20 years of abstinence meeting was an idea borrowed from AA’s International Convention Agenda. FA also has abstinence requirements for sharing and doing service, as well as for qualification recordings. The TRC notes that in this context, members with long-term abstinence are not being presented as being more important than other members. They are being asked to speak so other members can hear the wisdom gained from experience and long-term commitment to the Twelve Steps and the FA way of life. If certain new or struggling members feel shame or discomfort when considering attending this specific meeting type, these members could choose not to attend this one meeting and, rather, could attend any of the other types of meetings being held during the fellowship convention. The TRC sought out an excerpt from the introductory paragraph of the format that is read at the beginning of this particular meeting type. This paragraph explains that many members travel long distances to the fellowship convention from remote areas and have never been exposed to the strength and connection to FA’s roots that people with many years of recovery offer. The committee did not believe that this meeting type conflicted with the First Tradition, as one of the motives of the session was, in fact, common welfare. The Third Tradition (membership requirement) was also not deemed to be a concern, as all were welcome to attend or not attend this meeting. The TRC also did not feel that the principals of this meeting type were in conflict with the Twelfth Tradition. It was felt that the principal of this meeting type is supported by the Fifth Tradition, which states that the collective experience, strength, and hope from the recovery of long-term members carries the message to the newcomer that long-term recovery is possible, and it provides a vision of how this looks. The TRC spoke with the member who raised the concern and shared the above thoughts. Although the member does not agree with this type of meeting, she appreciated that her inquiry was taken seriously and that time was spent to respond.
- Issue: 5: Using Seventh Tradition funds to make a holiday party. A local service group wanted to spend Seventh Tradition funds to pay for a holiday party. They explained that they had quite a bit of money in (their) meeting of the meeting treasury. They asked whether this is an appropriate use of Seventh Tradition funds. The specific inquiries were: "Would we be able to take a group conscience vote at our local meetings to reimburse the purchaser for these costs of the Holiday Party?” and “Don't the conventions have dances and parties?”
Response: Firstly, Seventh Tradition funds are not intended to be used for a party. They are intended to be used to reach the food addict who still is suffering (Fifth Tradition). When FA fellows give to the Seventh Tradition, they are told it is being used for rent, literature, and to support intergroup and world service. Spending the collection on a party would be contrary to this stated purpose and could be confusing to newcomers. Secondly, WSI conventions are funded by the registration fee that is charged for those attending the convention. Funds to pay for dances and parties are not taken from Seventh Tradition funds. If the local service group wants to coordinate the funding of a party, they would be in line with the traditions if they charged a private party fee to the members who are attending the party. Alternatively, they could make it more casual and call it a "Fellowship Holiday Party" and ask for people to contribute a few dollars when they get there to cover the costs. As an important side note, by definition, a local service group does not collect a Seventh Tradition or hold a treasury. Local service groups were specifically set up as alternatives to chapters and intergroups, which are formally organized and do hold treasuries. Local service groups do not have bylaws or elected officers and have no need for treasuries. A Local service group (previously known as “meeting of meetings”) only collects monies for specific public information activities. If they want to have a treasury, they would need to form themselves into a chapter and apply to their intergroup to become a chapter.
- Issue 6: Donation in lieu of rent. An FA meeting is held at a place of business that asks that, in lieu of rent, the meeting donate its Seventh Tradition funds to a local charity. Although the meeting has been doing this for years, they recently asked the TRC for their thoughts on whether this could be a Sixth Tradition issue, where meetings are ask to “never endorse, finance or lend the FA name to any related facility or outside enterprise.”
Response: The TRC believes it is always better to be able to pay rent for meeting locations, yet the business asks for rent to be in the form of a donation. The Sixth Tradition issue could be avoided if the FA meeting makes the donation in the name of the business and arranges for the tax receipt to be in the business name. It is important that the FA meeting treasurer inform the business that the meeting has made the donation, in lieu of rent, in their name. If the business does not want a tax receipt, the FA meeting can make the donations anonymously.
- Issue 7: Donation in addition to rent for holiday gift. Instead of donating to WSI and intergroup in December, a meeting wanted to make a donation to the church where their meeting is held as a gift of holiday gratitude. They currently pay a monthly rent of $150 for the room. They asked the TRC their thoughts as to whether this goes against any of the traditions and, if the TRC had any other suggestions on the matter.
Response: The Sixth Tradition speaks of never endorsing or financing any outside enterprise. Making a gift or donation to any outside cause or establishment could be interpreted as endorsement. Also making a donation to a particular church denomination or in recognition of specific holidays could cause discomfort for some at the meeting (or within the FA fellowship), which could harm FA as a whole (Sixth Tradition). Passing the basket at meetings is our way of meeting our responsibility for the work of FA and supporting the group, WSI, and the intergroups (Seventh Tradition). The FA members, both voting members at the business meeting and those not attending or voting, make donations weekly with the intention of supporting our primary purpose, to bring the message to the food addict who still suffers (Fifth Tradition). By withholding money from WSI and intergroup in favor of a gift to their property owner (which in this case is a religious group), the meeting is limiting the organization’s ability to meet that primary purpose. While the intent of the gift is generosity and an expression of gratitude, it is not necessary, as the monthly rent covers the meeting’s responsibility to the church. A card expressing the meeting’s gratitude, sent along with the year-end rental payment, would be another way to show appreciation. If members believe the meeting has extra funds each month and that $150 is not sufficient rent, it could consider increasing its rent payments as long as that does not impede on contributions made to WSI and intergroup.
Twelfth Step Committee (Linda N., Chair)
The Twelfth Step Committee continued its efforts to provide support to meetings and members, with a particular emphasis on reaching frontier members.
- Met bi-monthly as a full committee.
- Coordinated 27 Thank-a-Thons through the EAI, WAI, and Maine Chapter Twelfth Step Committees, with meetings held on U.S. Thanksgiving Day 2014.
The Communications Subcommittee’s activities included the following:
- Updated and distributed the Universal Language List quarterly to WSI contacts.
- Added a new link to the website to make it easier to be added to the list.
- Published four Gratitude in Action newsletters, two of which focused on the conventions: The 2014 FA Fellowship Convention and the 2014 FA World Service Business Convention. New sections were added to the newsletter to keep members up to date on what is happening in FA. One of the new sections is presented in a Question & Response format to share some of the traditions issues that came up over the year. This was done with the intent of sharing the importance of keeping traditions within FA. Another new section highlighted service positions to inform members near and far of service opportunities. This is an area that was generally shared at the intergroup level The aim of Gratitude in Action continues to be to create opportunities for people to learn things that are happening in FA, hear about service positions, and also to be reminded of why we are here: to stay abstinent and do service.
The Frontier Subcommittee maintained its focus on support to frontier members, (those living 100 miles/161 km. from the nearest FA meeting). It did so in the following ways:
- Maintained and distributed the Frontier Phone List and Frontier Sponsor List, with an emphasis on strengthening the latter through getting the word to intergroups, chapters, and regular FA meetings, as well as through the Gratitude in Action newsletter.
- Links for both lists were added to the website for ease in signing up to be added to the lists.
- Frontier Phone List was updated and distributed monthly to WSI contacts.
- Frontier Sponsor list was updated quarterly/distributed monthly to WSI Contacts, as well as to an additional 250 members throughout the year who specifically requested to receive it.
- Added a new member to the Frontier Subcommittee in the role of backup updater to support the Frontier Sponsor List Manager.
- Frontier e-communication: The monthly email to frontier members was accompanied by a specially written e-communication that was both supportive and encouraging. Members from the United States, Canada, and Australia shared relevant personal stories for people on the frontier. In addition, the subcommittee agreed to add to the e-communication piece a new brief section entitled, "Tips on How to do Service on the Frontier," in an effort to help members in outlying areas get more involved in FA service.
- The Frontier Subcommittee continued to meet regularly with one additional frontier member, who joined the call to provide insight to the challenges FA members face on the frontier.
The Meeting Effectiveness, Safety, and Accessibility (MESA) Subcommittee supported members/meetings with the following issues:
- Fragrances at meetings. A meeting had a member with a life-threatening sensitivity to substances. MESA provided support in discerning whether meeting autonomy allowed them to make the meeting fragrance-free, and how to go about doing this. There was also support provided to another meeting with this issue.
- AA Banners. It was established that it is against traditions to hang AA banners.
- Braille formats. After several inquiries about Braille formats, MESA did some research and found a company that could do this for a very reasonable fee. The formats were ordered in February 2015, and when received, they will be made available for individual meetings to purchase via the FA World Service Office.
- Service Dog. Members at a meeting were concerned about someone bringing a service dog. MESA member found ADA requirements concerning non-profits allowing service animals. The meeting had been treating it as a group-conscience issue. MESA member who contacted the inquirer (who had the dog) told her to let uncomfortable folks know they could contact MESA if they had any further questions. Another MESA member said it is possible for FA to lose its 501c(3) status if service animals are not allowed.
- Meeting Safety: MESA received several calls about predatory behavior in meetings. Members were referred to an AA document on the topic of “13th Stepping” and personal safety at meetings. A goal is to create a document about this issue for FA.
The Twelfth Step Committee also oversaw coordination of the annual Thank-a-Thons, held on U.S. Thanksgiving Day, November 27. There were 27 Thank-a-Thon meetings in the WAI and EAI areas.
Eastern Area Intergroup (EAI) (Courtney G., Chair)
Much of the work of the EAI is done through our committees. In addition, a growing number of EAI regions have local service groups actively engaged in spreading the FA message in their areas. This activity is a great source of hope and inspiration to all of us. This brief report captures a mere snapshot of the work being done all year round in many states by dedicated food addicts. We are grateful for their efforts and look forward to sharing future successes as together we “trudge the road to happy destiny.”
EAI has evolved this year, largely as a result of exposure to WAI’s wholehearted, yet efficient approach, which motivated the introduction of a literature table at intergroup, the use of PowerPoint to replace paper agendas, and the return of an EAI attendee phone and sponsor list. We are exploring using a portion of our Body meeting for an interactive group activity, shortening committee reports to make room for a “deep dive” into the work of a single committee. Early offerings have included a connection writing session, open sharing on Twelfth Step service, a mock outreach led by the Teens and Twenties Committee, and a tutorial by the Office Services and Support Committee on using the FA website.
As of April 1, 2015, there were 572 registered EAI meetings in six countries: Canada, Germany, Israel, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In the U.S., there are registered EAI meetings in the District of Columbia and these 23 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin. There have been 32 EAI meetings added since April 1, 2014.
Service Conference Calls
For the past few years, our vice chair has offered a bi-monthly conference call for EAI meeting contacts. Last year, the Twelfth Step Committee began hosting an EAI orientation call for new meetings. In response to feedback from the field about confusion and overlap between these and other service calls, and under the guidance of the vice chair, we have recently streamlined our offerings, introducing the quarterly EAI call as the opportunity for an exchange of experience, strength, and hope regarding FA service throughout the EAI area. The inaugural call was led by the vice chair, and future calls will be led, in turn, by the chairs of the Chapter and Region Support, Financial Aid and Resources, connection, and Twelfth Step Committees. Four committees—Chapter and Region Support, connection, Public Information, and Teens and Twenties—offer a conference call dial-in option for members who are more than two hours away from intergroup, who wish to participate remotely in committee meetings.
Seven committees—Chapter and Region Support, Financial Aid and Resources, connection, Twelfth Step, Office Services and Support, Public Information, and Teens and Twenties—function as independent working groups. Where appropriate, our public outreach chair helps facilitate collaboration between the Public Information Committee and the Teens and Twenties Committee, while our region outreach chair fulfills a similar function for Chapter and Region Support, Financial Aid and Resources, connection, and Twelfth Step Committees. Our bylaws chair is called into service on an as-needed basis. All committees contribute in their own way to the annual Chapter and Region Support Weekend in the fall.
The Chapter and Region Support Committee hosted approximately 194 FA members from 14 states and Canada at the 14th annual Chapter, Region, Meeting Support Weekend (CRMSW) on November 8 and 9, 2014. The 15th annual CRMSW will be held November 7 and 8, 2015. The committee reports that local service groups are functioning in the following areas: Charlotte, NC; the Washington, DC; Cleveland, OH; Rochester, NY; Ithaca, NY; Daytona Beach, FL; Atlanta, GA; and Philadelphia, PA.
The connection Committee continues to offer writing sessions throughout EAI, encouraging members to do service through writing and submitting their stories. In addition, this group oversees the management of the EAI literature table.
The Financial Aid and Resource Committee provided aid for six fellows for the chapter support weekend in November, reviewed applications for seven PI sessions, and awarded financial aid to fourteen applicants for the 2015 FA World Service Business Convention. The committee will continue to organize greeters, maintain the ride and lodging list, and assist in making packets for the annual business convention.
The Office Services and Support Committee strives to make accurate and timely information readily available to FA members and newcomers, via the FA website and email distribution. The committee’s ongoing responsibilities include registering new meetings, processing meeting change requests, responding to email and telephone inquiries, posting local meeting directories, supporting the treasurer, and helping members navigate the website.
The Public Information Committee this year provided display racks, with trifolds and FA information booklets, for use in public places; supported meetings seeking news coverage regarding their FA information sessions; orchestrated an FA presence at conferences, such as Obesity Week and the 1st Annual Food Addiction Conference; maintained and directed members to online resources for groups and individuals; and partnered with WSI on additional PI efforts.
The Teens and Twenties Committee oversaw outreaches at four high schools and three colleges, including a new initiative to connect with undergraduate athletes. The committee is now offering updated outreach materials for FA members on the FA website.
The Twelfth Step Committee’s service this year included holding home meetings for those in need, organizing road trips to meetings with low attendance, overseeing Thank-a-thons, leading EAI orientations for first-time attendees, and maintaining the EAI Resource Guide and the EAI Orientation Guide.
The Executive Board
The Vice Chair creates the monthly EAI Report and liaises with the Office Committee on its distribution. Her focus has been on increasing representation of service being done outside the Boston area and continually working to make the monthly report relevant to all EAI members. She maintains strong communication with committee chairs and EAI contacts and helps facilitate myriad key endeavors on behalf of the intergroup.
The Secretary records all official intergroup proceedings, including the executive board and body meetings, and archives annual goals and objectives and year-end reports.
The Treasurer oversees data collection for EAI’s combined tax return (which includes the chapters’ financial information). The return was filed successfully in November 2014. We continue to accommodate FA-EAI meetings with certificates of insurance, working closely with Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (formerly, Philadelphia Insurance Company). EAI-affiliated chapters and meetings are covered automatically under our liability insurance policy, wherever they meet, in the US, Canada, and certain US possessions.
For the 12 months ending 3/31/15, total revenue was $41,847.54, total expenses were $45,603.24, net income was -$3,755.70. This negative cash flow was the result of a board-approved decision to allocate resources to this year’s Chapter, Region, and Meeting Support Weekend. Plans are in place for a more modest budget for 2015. As of 3/31/15, our cash balance was $23,044.63, which approximates a six-month prudent reserve. Our $30,000.00 goal for a prudent reserve will be revisited by our board.
Western Area Intergroup (Susan H., Chair)
Approximately 245 (down from 260 last year) meetings are registered with Western Area Intergroup (WAI) and are listed and updated monthly in the WAI Meeting Directory, posted under the intergroup section on the FA website www.foodaddicts.org. WAI serves meetings in Northern California, Southern California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, Australia, Canada-British Columbia, Canada-Alberta, and New Zealand. WAI meets monthly on the second Sunday of the month for one-and-one-half hours, with an average of 275 members in attendance. There are five main committees: Public Information, Twelfth Step, Office, Conference Resource, and the Service Group Support Committees. Members meet in separate committees for the first segment of intergroup. PI and Twelfth Step committees periodically break off into several sub-committees to report and move projects along. Then all gather as a general group to hear board and committee chair reports, ask for available sponsors and volunteers for health fairs, and to share other service opportunities.
WAI Convention Resource Committee granted three applicants financial aid for the business convention. Many WAI members were instrumental in planning and executing the October 24- 26, 2014 FA Fellowship Convention, which was held at the Santa Clara Marriot Hotel in Santa Clara, California.
Office Committee continues to serve the western area by maintaining accurate meeting information on the FA website, producing varied meeting tri-folds relevant to members' local geographical areas, and responding to phone and email requests from existing and prospective members. Members regularly contact the Office Committee for assistance with registering new meetings, submitting meeting changes, updating their personal profiles, and navigating the website.
The Office Committee also has a literature sub-committee that sells an average of $500 worth of literature at intergroup each month. Within the last year, the literature sub-committee began offering the “FA Book,” Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous, as one of the items members can buy at intergroup.
The Twelfth Step Committee
The committee continues to maintain the Frontier Phone List, Frontier Sponsor List, Universal Language List, and the Bay Area Outlying Area Speaker List.
- Target Area Resource Subcommittee (TAR): At its inception, the TAR committee assigned an intergroup attendee to be a liaison to a member from a meeting that is held more than 120 miles from our intergroup meeting. The purpose was to answer questions and clarify anything that was in the intergroup minutes. The TAR committee is now assigning intergroup attendees to meetings that request this assistance. Any outlying meeting that wants a consistent contact from someone who regularly attends Western Area Intergroup may contact the TAR subcommittee chair.
- connection Subcommittee: The WAI connection committee continues to host writing sessions at intergroup meetings. Attendance has ranged from 35-40 people, and a number of articles have been submitted as a result. The committee’s writing sessions continue to use the new connection writer’s kit.
- Thank-a-Thon: There were 23 Thank-a-thons held throughout WAI on U.S. Thanksgiving Day. Close to 600 people attended, and there were 23 newcomers.
- Homebound Committee: We continue to provide homebound meetings requested by members who are ill or are recovering from surgery that prevents them from attending meetings. There are 11 coordinators in place and approximately six homebound meetings were held. The homebound committee continues working on the new addition of the Twelfth Step calls. They are in the process of obtaining places to mail letters in order see if Twelfth-step calls are needed.
- Partner Meetings Subcommittee: Encourages members from larger meetings to partner with smaller meetings to make outreach calls to each other and help strengthen healthy meeting practices. Thirty meetings are currently partnered with larger meetings.
- Speaker Travel Fund: Gave assistance to speakers travelling to southern California for a public information session last March.
Public Information Committee:
- Teens and Twenties Subcommittee: Spread the word while manning booths at 15 university health fairs and participating in two high-school presentations.
- Community Outreach Subcommittee: Conducted several events in the SF Bay Area over the past year. A public service announcement (PSA) was launched on local radio station KPOO that alerts listeners to FA. FA literature was sent to seven organizations, including five medical societies. Tables were manned at one professional conference in Santa Clara and six health fairs throughout the Bay Area. Three community information sessions were held at the Bayview YMCA in San Francisco. Four presentations were made to professional staff in healthcare settings.
- Transitions Subcommittee: Worked to reach out to women transitioning from the corrections system, but this has now been absorbed by the Community Outreach Subcommittee, whose members will keep them apprised of any future opportunities.
- Service Group Support Committee: Participates in the bi-monthly core team call of the WSI SGSC (Service Group Support Committee). The team discusses topics for calls, open to the entire worldwide fellowship, that take place every other third Sunday of the month. The committee’s purpose at this time is to provide support and resources for FA members looking to establish local service groups, (LSG). The group participates in the every-other-month worldwide fellowship call and gives an overview of the WAI Intergroup activities that occurred over the previous two months. WAI SGSC invites committee chairs or sub chairs from WAI to join and share information pertinent to LSGs. They fields emails and calls from LSGs to provide WAI support.
Jan. 2014 through Dec. 2014 Income: $35,020.24 Expenses: $36,772.27
Donations to FA-WSI: $25,000
Western Area Intergroup continues to provide steady and continued service in getting out the FA message to communities, schools, and individuals while providing support for the many areas under its umbrella. With the inspiration of our Higher Power and a strong commitment to service, it is our hope to continue to carry the message to the food addict who still suffers.
FA Maine Chapter of EAI (Steve A., Chair)
The Maine Chapter continues to support recovery within a slowly strengthening fellowship. Though active participation at the chapter meeting remains variable (15-27 attendees), much activity exists that supports recovery, and existing meetings maintain stable attendance. There have been some minor changes:
- Meeting Support Day is no longer a free-standing committee and is now a function of the Twelfth Step Committee
- connection writing events at the chapter level have been changed from quarterly events to variably timed events. This work remains a function of the Twelfth Step Committee, which collaborates more closely with area meetings to bring these sessions to local areas, with the support of meeting attendees and their FA groups.
Maine Chapter members continue to participate in EAI and WSI committees, conference calls, and functions. The overall goal of the Maine Chapter remains consistent: to provide ME/NH meetings with support to help individuals recover from a life of food addiction.
Vice Chair Report (MEViceChair@foodaddicts.org)
Maintains chapter communication with meetings through:
- Monthly highlights, sent to meeting-chapter contacts, of activities and service opportunities throughout the chapter.
- Quarterly liaison calls to meeting-chapter contacts.
BEGINNING BALANCE AS OF 6/1/14
Total Year Deposits
Total Year Expenses
TOTAL YEAR-TO- DATE BALANCE (3/1/15)
Total Y-T-D Expenses
Twelfth Step Committee
Meeting Support Day
Donation to WSI
Office Committee (MEOffice@foodaddicts.org)
- Fostered communication between the Maine Chapter fellowship, EAI, and WSI.
- Produced and distributed monthly Maine Chapter Meeting Directory to chapter contacts. and other interested persons/organizations.
- Distributed chapter meeting highlights and Twelfth Step service list to chapter contacts.
- Upheld the Maine Chapter presence on the FA website.
- Maintained chapter-affiliated meeting-registration database.
- Fleshed out meeting phone list exchange concept.
PI Committee (MEPI@foodaddicts.org)
- Waiting-Room Booklets and Literature Racks: Our four regional coordinators continue to track the distribution of the waiting-room booklets. This year we have encouraged members to expand the placements of these booklets beyond doctors’ offices. A design for the label, with the Maine phone line's number for insertion on the inside/back of the booklet, has been created in the event there are no meeting brochures present. These, along with the literature racks, are available for our members at each monthly chapter meeting. The PI Committee continues to remind our members, via chapter-meeting conversations and the monthly chapter-meeting highlights, to keep both of these resources with up-to-date literature.
- EAI conference calls: Participate in the calls to keep informed and united in purpose.
- Advertisement: Our members have increased public service announcements in their local major papers and in their small community papers. Meetings have contacted their local radio and television stations with their cancelations, due to the severe weather conditions we have endured this year. This has provided the opportunity for the public’s awareness of the existence of FA in their local area. The bonus is free advertisement. We are able to announce the time, date, and location all in one sweep.
- FA Book: Members have placed our book in at least fifty libraries throughout Maine and New Hampshire. The Bangor, Ellsworth, and Blue Hill meetings alone have placed the book in seven local libraries, along with a literature rack.
- Information session: We continue to reach out to professionals and those who work with food addicts directly. The Weight and Wellness Bariatric Center in Portland refer their patients to FA. Seven of our members have had the opportunity to share FA and their stories with school health classes and are invited back when they are discussing and learning about eating disorders. We held information sessions at area middle schools and participated in the area Aging Expo and the Cancer Recovery Day.
- Phone Line: Multiple voice mails have been received and returned each month by six volunteers who check for messages twice daily.
Twelfth Step Committee (METwelfthstep@foodaddicts.org)
- Provided copies of the Frontier Phone List, educated members on how to make international phone calls, and shared experiences of calling someone on the frontier.
- Created the outreach/service list to replace the speakers list. Fellows on this list are willing to do FA service. The list is circulated at the chapter meeting, and the updated list is sent to the Office Committee for distribution. Volunteers may also email their names to the Twelfth Step chair or sign up at local meetings.
- Organized FA road trips. Members participated in trips to Bangor, Bath, Newcastle, and Scarborough.
- Implemented the “Twelfth Step Highlight of the Month” to help educate fellows about the Twelfth Step Committee.
- Helped a meeting provide home meetings for one of its members.
- Provided an orientation for newcomers to the Maine Chapter at each chapter meeting. The orientation is led by experienced volunteers from the chapter.
- Updated our Power Point presentation, which is used for the orientation at our Maine Meeting Support Day.
- Held connection magazine writing sessions quarterly. Two of these sessions were cancelled due to weather conditions. These sessions will now be provided on less regular occasions. The subcommittee will work more closely with area meetings to bring these sessions to local areas, with the support of area meetings and local FA groups.
- Provided Thank-a-Thon information and support. Westbrook held a Thank-a-Thon, and Freeport held a gratitude meeting Thanksgiving morning.
- Organized the eighth annual Meeting Support Day.
Bylaws Committee (MEBylaws@foodaddicts.org)
- There have been no motions for review this year.
- The bylaws chair remains a resource for the chapter board and area meetings when questions arise related to bylaws.
- The bylaws chair maintains contact with FA World Service and Eastern Area Intergroup by-laws chairs for updated information pertaining to FA guidelines and standards.
- The bylaws chair attends the business convention and Eastern Area Intergroup weekend to broaden bylaws’ awareness and support.
Intergroup Liaison (MEIGliaison@foodaddicts.org)
- Maintains connection to EAI by participating in monthly conference call.
- Collaborates with individual EAI committee members by individual call or through chapter chair.
- Supports Maine Chapter meeting EAI reps with orientation package.
- Supports EAI weekend event.
- Shares EAI information with chapter and meeting reps through regular announcements.
- Educates chapter meetings and reps with the importance of EAI awareness and connection to maintain healthy meetings, updating website information and communicating meeting changes.
Registered Meetings in Maine
Number of individual registered meetings at beginning of fiscal year: 23 Number of individual registered meetings at end of fiscal year: 22
Closed Meeting: North Windham (Fri. 9 am)