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2020 Mid-Term Report of FA World Service Inc

Reporting on July 2020 - December 2020


Chair’s Report (Bonnie H.)

Dear Fellows,

The World Service Board has been meeting regularly during these vacillating, changing times and this has been a year like no other we have ever experienced. Our daily lives have been altered and the pandemic has brought on a myriad of challenges including for some, loneliness and isolation. But, what I see, is our fellowship thriving! I see fellows finding their way to whatever type of gathering suits them; and, I see newcomers finding these gatherings and receiving the support of this amazing program.

The Convention Committee has been planning our very first virtual convention and the Bylaws Committee has been overseeing the motion making process that will hopefully bring about respectful and invigorating conversation. The Office and the Office Committee have been updating the website, as well as making appropriate changes brought on by the pandemic. Our Treasurer has faithfully guided us and helped ensure our financial well-being throughout this unusual time. The Public Information Committee has been converting our MP3’s to podcasts. The Literature Committee has placed the audio book and eBook versions of our FA Book on Amazon. Traditions Review Committee and connection are moving along smoothly addressing issues that are of interest to us all. Our Secretary is keeping us on task and organized and our Service Group Support Committee is forming groups around the world. Our Twelfth Step Committee has been working on their newly formed TOR sub-committee, please see details to follow.

Our lives have been disrupted tremendously, but I think we have demonstrated remarkable resilience as a board and as a fellowship. Please read the following report to hear many more details of what the committees have been doing.

Stay safe, everyone, and we will see you in June! In Service,

Bonnie H, Chair World Service Board

Treasurer (Stella J)

Although donations and literature income are down significantly from last year, operating expenses for the first half of the current fiscal year were also somewhat less and increased direct member donations helped to cover them. However, some of the larger one-time expenses, such as insurance, tax preparation, website changes, etc., will arise during the second half of the fiscal year. We are hoping that if members have not yet done so already, they will consider making a catch-up donation and/or begin making monthly donations. To make it convenient, members can now set up an automatic recurring monthly donation on the FA website. Ideally, with the help of these additional donations, upcoming expenses can be met without dipping into the prudent reserve.

Inquiry Response Committee (IRC) (Jamie M., Chair)

The Inquiry Response Committee is responsible for handling inquiries made to the FA World Service Board or to the FA Office. Responses are made by telephone to inquiries received from both FA and non-members. An IRC member will contact the inquirer within two weeks of the initial inquiry.

During the stay-at-home orders in March, two FA members contacted the IRC with concerns about video gatherings. We informed them that a letter addressing the issue was sent out by the WSB to the Fellowship regarding this issue.

We had one other inquiry regarding food and sponsorship. The inquirer was concerned that a sponsor was not following the advice of their sponsee’s medical doctor regarding mealtimes. We sent our generic response asking for their phone number. We called the inquirer a few times and did not receive a call back.


Bylaws Committee (Norma Jean, Chair)

The Bylaws Committee maintains and clarifies the bylaws, recommends changes to the bylaws, and reviews proposed amendments to the bylaws for recommendations to the WSC.

Chair Report

  • Intergroups and Chapters have been sent notices and procedures, with deadline date, for the submission of motions for the 2021 World Service Business Convention (WSBC). The motion submission form is posted on the website. The deadline for motion submission is March 5, 2021. The link was in the email WSBC #3.
  • The WSI Bylaws Committee is discussing two possible motions to present at the 2021 WSBC. Motions are in process at intergroup and chapter levels.
  • World Service Conference (WSC) members will receive an email no later than April 5th listing motions being submitted by intergroups and chapters. WSC members will be asked to submit a vote in relation to each motion. The question will be “This motion should be placed on the WSBC agenda. Respond Yes or No.” Please note that WSC members are not indicating if they agree or disagree with any motion. WSC members are voting to determine which motions have enough potential value for FA as a whole to merit discussion and vote at the WSBC.
  • World Service Conference (WSC) members will receive an email with all motions on the 2021 WSBC agenda in early May. This will include motions they agreed should be moved forward with the vote along with any motion submitted by a WSI committee or the WSB.
  • Any meeting that had elected a WSC member for the 2020 WSBC does not need to elect a new WSC member. That individual may register as a WSC member for the 2021 WSBC. If your meeting did not elect a World Service Conference member (voting member) or if the person elected is no longer able to serve in that capacity, your registered FA meeting may meet in person to elect a WSC member. In addition to registering for the convention, WSC members must register as a WSC member by March 5, 2021. All WSC members should read the World Service Conference Member manual prior to the convention. To locate the manual, enter WSCM in the search bar of www.foodaddicts.org.

connection Committee (Dom K., Chair)

The connection committee produces a 10-issue magazine sharing art and stories from FA fellows around the world.

Chair Report

  • Our connection committee is continuing to look at how we can make our magazine more accessible for all. For the July/August issue, we published an article in both German and English, and we are planning to continue to periodically publish articles in other languages as we explore how we can share the message of recovery with our non-English speaking fellows in the US and around the world. We hope to publish an article in Spanish soon!
  • Additionally, we have ramped up our digital Writing Sessions during the pandemic and hundreds of fellows from around the world have joined us for these collaborative online sessions that help us all learn best practices for writing for connection magazine.
  • Looking ahead, we're very much in need of more art and articles! We are particularly looking for articles from people who have lived or currently live on the Frontier about your experience staying abstinent on the Frontier. We are also looking for “Lighten Up” articles - stories that are short and light-hearted. Submit articles to connection@foodaddicts.org.
  • If any groups are interested in having a digital connection to use as literature during their gathering, please email connection@foodaddicts.org.
  • Lastly, we have seen a significant drop in subscriptions since the onset of the pandemic. We encourage you to renew your existing subscription, and if you currently don't have a subscription, please consider subscribing. Physical subscriptions cost $25 per year, and digital subscriptions cost $20 per year. You can subscribe at https://www.foodaddicts.org/subscription.

Subcommittee Reports

Writing Session subcommittee: Angie R.
  • Finalized the Writing Session presentation so that our committee can begin training fellows to lead their own Writing Sessions.
Art subcommittee: Sharon C. and Jean P.
  • Hosted a virtual Art Information Session this month and were able to help over 100 FA members learn how to submit art for the magazine. You can submit your art to artsubmissions@foodaddicts.org.
  • SusanLorraine M. from CA is available as an Art Coach for anyone interested in submitting art to connection but not sure where to start. Email artcoach@foodaddicts.org for more information.

Convention Planning Committee (Vanessa C., Chair)

Convention Planning Committee organizes FA’s business meeting, held yearly, as well as a fellowship convention, typically held every other year.

Chair report:

  • Planning is underway for the 2021 virtual Business Convention to be held June 5-6, 2021.
  • Registration for the Business Convention will remain open through May 5, 2021 at midnight EST.
  • The deadline for World Service Conference (WSC) member registration, submission of motions, and applications for Board positions is March 5, 2021.
  • Additional details about the 2021 Business Convention can be found on the Business Convention page of the FA website.
  • Our next Fellowship Convention is tentatively scheduled for October 8-10, 2021 at the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa in Phoenix, AZ depending on COVID-19.
  • For questions, please email convention@foodaddicts.org.

Public Information Committee (Annie H, Chair)

The purpose of the Public Information Committee is to get the message of FA recovery to the still suffering food addict by reaching out to the public as well as our “friends” in medicine, religion, and the press with information about FA recovery.

Healthcare Subcommittee

  • Work continues on an FA Video for Healthcare Professionals and is on track to be completed by June 2021.
  • Filmed an interview with Dr. Lowe, author of the medical perspective in the FA Grey Book. This film will be used in the final FA Video for Healthcare Professionals.
  • There were no FA Information meetings for Healthcare Professionals using the FA slide show due to the pandemic. The slides will be presented at a virtual health fair in Florida on Feb 3 and 4 2021.

Digital Outreach Subcommittee

  • Podcasts: 18 episodes have been uploaded since June 2020, to the FA podcast. During that time over 60,000 episodes were downloaded, an increase of 73% over the prior period
  • College Outreach: 1,100 emails were sent to colleges for upcoming February NEDA week, from which we received 3 responses including one request for a virtual information session with FA in June.
  • Google AdWords: Paid searches brought in over 143,000 new users (people who clicked on one of our ads).
  • FA Website Statistics: Number of people who found our website through the following channels:
    • 30,147 via Organic Search (Searches like “food addiction”, “overeating” )
    • 32,415 via Direct Search (Search with our name/URL)
    • 3,022 via FA weblinks (Referral Search)
    • 3,982 via Social Media (mainly Facebook).
  • Blogwatch: Over the midterm, Blog Watch attempted 77 posts, out of which 51 appeared. For the full year 2020, 160 posts were attempted and 109 appear. Since inception, 1562 attempted posts resulted in 874 appearing.

Media Outreach Subcommittee

  • Developed a new online Mediawatch training program to onboard new committee members.
  • Mediawatch made 114 contacts globally to introduce FA to media and other professionals and received 5 personal responses.
  • Completed five radio interviews.

PI Operations

  • Updated the PI Representative Description of Responsibilities in Document 7.
  • Posted the updated PI Representative role and resources document under ‘Help for PI Representatives” in the PI section of the FA website.

Eastern Area Intergroup PI

  • Continued the monthly call on EAI Sundays as a place to bring all PI-related questions and to find help and resources.
  • EAI Service Support Weekend - PI Committee hosted a Zoom meeting attended by 60 fellows with a great discussion on how to carry the message during the pandemic.
  • Ongoing effort to facilitate contact between FA fellows/gatherings and a French journalist writing a graphic non-fiction graphic novel about food addiction.

Western Area Intergroup PI

  • Held the second 2020 biannual conference call co-hosted with WAI SGSC to support the Pacific Rim fellowship in their public information outreach.
  • Worked with Jim D. (tech support) and Digital Outreach, Media Watch, Community Outreach, and Service Group Support coordinators to update the WAI homepage.
  • Developed a description for the role of the Community Outreach area coordinator and linked it to the Community Outreach subcommittee.

Maine Chapter PI

  • Attended a virtual health fair held in September
  • Conducted a virtual PI session held in October
  • Organized a virtual workday for the Maine chapter (service support day) to share ideas for what we would like to accomplish in 2021

Literature Committee (Karen LB., Chair)

The Literature Committee writes, records and translates literature for the FA fellowship.

Writing and Editing Subcommittee

  • Proposed revision of five pamphlets which was approved by WSB.
    • Food Addiction: There is a Solution
    • Food Addiction: Stories of Men in Recovery
    • Bulimic? Undereating? Underweight?
    • Food Addiction: Stories of Men in Recovery
    • To our Families and Friends
  • Working on WSB approved pamphlet revision for overeating/overweight using anonymous stories solicited from Fellowship.

Operations Subcommittee

  • The FA audiobook is now available on Amazon.
  • A booklet comprised of the first two chapters of the FA book is available on the FA website.
  • Investigating how to get our FA literature into the major commercial vendors from which public libraries purchase.

Audio Subcommittee

  • Investigating ways to record for the fellowship new qualifications/podcasts and pamphlets.

Communications Subcommittee

  • Over 1400 members answered the literature survey.
  • Results of survey being analyzed.

Translation Subcommittee

  • In the process of finalizing translations of German and Spanish literature.

Office Committee (Jan B., Chair)

The FA Office is responsible for the office and administrative functions of FA, the World Service Board, the FA website, and communication to FA members.

Chair Report

Over the last six months the Office has focused on the following priorities:

  • Donations to FA during the pandemic including easier access to the Donate button on the FA website, making it possible to schedule reoccurring donations, and more frequent updates on giving to FA members
  • Development of a new FA website
  • Planning for the virtual 2021 Business Convention and adjustments to the FA website to ensure smooth flowing registration, meeting, and voting processes
  • Making podcasts available on the FA website
  • A welcome email for new FA members with information that includes how to get started with links to FA literature, podcasts, gatherings, and greeter list
  • Automatic renewal of print and digital subscriptions to the connection magazine
  • Updating process for archiving and sharing WSI, WAI, EAI, and Maine Chapter documents

Subcommittee Report

Digital Strategy subcommittee: Jim D, Chair
  • Revised the Social Media policy and created Facebook guidelines and procedures document to be presented to the WSI Board for discussion
  • While still testing an official FA Facebook page, as of December 2020, we had 1,169 people who “like” the FA Facebook page and 1,242 who “follow” the page.

Traditions Review Committee (Cheryl W., Chair)

The TRC’s mandate is to consider how the Twelve Traditions guide us on various issues raised by FA members or groups. Inquiries are submitted to traditions@foodaddicts.org. The committee meets to discuss these issues every other month, then shares their thoughts with the inquirer and with the fellowship (when appropriate) through various WSI reports and the GIA. The TRC is not a governing or policing body, nor does it get involved in resolving the issue; rather, it enables the person(s) to deal with the situation or the other person(s) involved.

Chair Report

From July-December 2020, the TRC received 5 inquiries at traditions@foodaddicts.org.

Issues responded to by the chair:

  1. Seventh Tradition funds used to pay for Zoom account.
  2. Format for Zoom gatherings and group conscience.
  3. 90-day requirement for sharing.
  4. Modification to the Serenity Prayer and group conscience.
  5. Author visiting an FA Zoom gathering.

In addition, the TRC sponsored an eForum on Tradition One: Our common welfare should come first; personal recover depends upon FA unity. Three speakers presented their experience with Tradition One in FA followed by sharing from FA fellows with 90- days of continuous abstinence in FA. The two one-hour sessions were well-attended (at least 220 participants/session).

A brief overview of the TRC was presented at the December 2020 EAI meeting. The TRC is currently working to update the TRC Index.

Service Group Support Committee (SGSC), (Pam K., Chair)

The SGSC supports the maintenance of local service groups, chapters and intergroups and the development of local service groups. It also enables global communication among all service groups including intergroups and chapters. All efforts maintain the overarching principle of supporting FA recovery practices, strengthening existing recovery, and helping others learn that recovery from food addiction exists.

Chair Report

  • The core committee meets bimonthly and continues to refine the Local Service Group (LSG) Guidelines and Recommendations document based on guidance from the World Service Board (WSB). The draft is ready for review by the WSB at the January meeting.
  • Continuing to create a space for cooperative work and instructive dialogue between the WSB and intergroups, the SGSC chair, Eastern Area intergroup (EAI) chair and Western Area intergroup (WAI) chair meet quarterly.
  • The SGSC holds bi-monthly global calls for all who are interested in getting the FA message out through the efforts of local service groups. Open to the worldwide fellowship, LSGs have an opportunity to share their initiatives encouraging others to work together in service. SGSC chairs of EAI and WAI along with the Maine Chapter chair share highlights of the work their intergroup and chapter is doing. A mandate of the core committee is to increase participation on these calls, and we are seeing a steady increase in the numbers of attendees.
  • Continuing to work with the Twelfth Step committee, highlights of LSG work appeared in "Gratitude in Action" in a section titled, "LSG Spotlight".

Subcommittee Reports

Education and Information Subcommittee: Barb C, Chair
  • In conjunction with other World Service committees, the following topics were covered on the bimonthly global calls: "Public Information and Local Service Groups Working Together" (August); "Zoom Your Way to a Fellowship Day" (October); "Getting the Word Out: How to Post an Event on a Media Site - Part 1" (December).
Forum Planning Committee (FPC): Mac M, Chair
  • The FPC held FA's first eForum, "Back to Basics: Staying Abstinent and Reaching the Still-Suffering Food Addict in Today's World" in September.
  • The FPC assisted other World Service committees in setting up eForums by sharing its experience.

Twelfth Step Committee (Regina M., Chair)

The mission of the Twelfth Step Committee is to help members of the fellowship grow in recovery through service at meetings, intergroups, chapters, and World Service; to develop written and audio resources for members via phone and internet; and offer support to those members isolated due to distance, language barriers, and physical limitations. During the current global pandemic, the committee and subcommittees worked together to address the needs of the fellowship.

Chair Report

The committee

  • addressed how to address issues which affect BIPOC and LGBTQ fellows.
  • formed a group under MESA to address issues of equity and inclusion.
  • published an additional issue of the GIA newsletter.
  • Simplified the Frontier webpage for easy accessibility for newcomers.

Subcommittee Reports

MESA : Franny M., Chair
  • Formed The Only Requirement (TOR) group to address issues of equity and inclusion. The TOR’s members represent the diversity which is FA. The group prepared a letter to be submitted to the Literature Committee to ask that a pamphlet that addresses the Third Tradition be written. The TOR is working on a virtual meeting Forum for all fellows to attend in Spring 2021. The MESA rep position description is complete and ready to upload to the website. MESA continues to work on the Meeting Effectiveness questions and continue to work on questions regarding inclusivity. In addition, a Meeting Inventory of questions for Business meetings is being prepared.
Frontier: Anna B., Chair
  • The Welcome to the Newcomer page was simplified and also expanded, giving access to newcomers information to either read (such as the first chapter of the FA book and pamphlets) and/or listen to mp3’s and podcasts. The Digital Newcomer packet is also readily available on this page in addition to a contact for FA gatherings.
  • The committee continues to oversee the Long Distance Sponsor List, the Greeter List, and the Universal Language list.
GIA subcommittee: John S., Chair
  • The committee published the 3rd Edition of the GIA, “Why do Service?”
  • The GIA has provided space for the WSI LSG committee to provide information on the benefits of local service groups.
  • Due to the pandemic and limited opportunities to do service, the committee is considering whether the GIA newsletter should change into something more current instead of a newsletter or find space in a different location such as connection.