Food Share America (FSA) has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy after racking up more than $100,000 in bounced checks and other debts. The food ministry, which operates discount food centers in ten states including Texas, has been drowning in debt since they took over the discount food operation formerly run by Catholic Charities two years ago. FSA President Bill McKnight said that he has done everything he can to turn the company around without filing bankruptcy; but just was unable to do so because of many factors including the dismal economy.
"They were losing over $100,000 a month and we thought we could turn it around," said McKnight. He and his wife have already sunk more than $300,000 of their own retirement into the organization just trying to get it going again, but economic factors, declining participation, and stiff competition from national chains like Wal-Mart eventually overwhelmed them.
Many participants in FSA's food distribution program have already paid for their food as much as two weeks ago but all food deliveries have been cancelled since the bankruptcy filing. Many of those individuals without food and money are homebound senior citizens living on fixed incomes who were dependent FSA's food delivery program because it allowed them to access to groceries without leaving their home. But McKnight has promised that he will repay those who have already paid for food, even though the company is in bankruptcy. Since the bankruptcy filing, McKnight has made several personal visits to participants in the program who owe FSA money in the hopes that he can use that money to repay those who paid for food that was never delivered. But the reality is that McKnight cannot just go around collecting money and distributing it to paying participants while the company is in bankruptcy. Any money he collects from these delinquent members must be handed over to the bankruptcy court. The bankruptcy court will determine who gets paid and just as importantly who gets paid first.