The CNIB, a national charity that provides services for the visually impaired, is getting out of the food services industry.
CNIB operates 34 cafeterias and catering services in Atlantic Canada, using cafeterias to earn money for programs. But Duncan Williams, director of service and operations for CNIB in Nova Scotia and P.E.I., said some of the cafeterias have been losing money.
"It's generally not producing the revenue that's worth the risk overall for the organization, and it really isn't a core focus for CNIB," said Williams, noting less than 10 per cent of the group's income in Atlantic Canada comes from food service.
"Our job is a rehabilitation service organization, to provide service. This exit strategy is intended for us to have more time to devote to rehabilitation and service provision."
The Caterplan division of CNIB was created in 1928 with the goal of providing employment opportunities for the visually impaired, but has not been a significant source of jobs for the visually impaired in recent years. CNIB is already out of food services outside of Atlantic Canada, and recently shut down the canteen at the Summerside Tax Centre, as a prelude to getting out of food service entirely.
CNIB will attempt to move its cafeterias to other operators, and hopes its current employees will be taken on by them. It employs 104 people in food service, and 14 of them are visually impaired.