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Director resigns from Canton’s Church & Community Program

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CANTON - The director of Canton’s Church & Community Program has resigned from her job, effective May 31.

Catherine E. Mathews said she was leaving the position because of “philosophical differences” with the 12-member board of directors that oversees the program.

“I’m not retiring. I will be looking for another job,” Ms. Mathews said Monday.

She has served as director since June 2011 when she was hired to replace Sherri Wilcox, who was fired by the agency’s board after holding the job for several years.

Janet Stitt, the program’s acting board president, said a search committee is expected to meet next week to discuss finding a replacement for Ms. Mathews.

She said she was not completely surprised by the resignation, but did not have further comment about the decision.

Mrs. Stitt credited Ms. Mathews for her success at increasing donations and for boosting the number of people served. The agency operates a food pantry and thrift shop on Main Street that helps provide basic necessities to people in Canton and surrounding communities. It also distributes school supplies and holiday gifts to eligible families.

“Cathy has done a wonderful job finding money for food and enabling more people to receive food. She has been an asset in that respect,” Mrs. Stitt said.

The number of families served by the agency has grown from 72 in 2011 to roughly 500 families in 2013, Ms. Mathews said.

“We served 93,000 meals last year,” she said.

The Church & Community Program is a joint service provided by six Canton churches including the United Methodist, Unitarian Universalist, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic and Seventh Day Adventist.

Mrs. Stitt said the board is also still dealing with the loss of its president, Richard F. Morrow, who died Dec. 23 after being struck by a vehicle while he was riding his bicycle in Canton.

“That was a blow to us and something we’ve had to work around,” Mrs. Stitt said. “Certainly, the program will continue.”

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