The Lacombe and District Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) had another successful year of bringing food to families in need over the Christmas season.
The district FCSS helped families from Lacombe, Mirror, Clive, Bentley and Alix among others in Central Alberta, reaching a total of 395 individuals.
“As always, there is a huge thank you to the people in our community for the support. Without them, we couldn’t continue to meet this need. I think a highlight of this is that it isn’t just Lacombe, it is Lacombe and district,” said Jan Pocock, volunteer and community services coordinator at Lacombe and District FCSS.
“If you live in Mirror, and you donate, you can know that a family in Mirror is receiving help from this fund. It’s not just Lacombe, it’s Lacombe and district and we are trying to help everybody in this community. The basis of the whole program is the community helping the community.”
The Christmas Food Certificate Fund relies on donations from individuals and businesses in Central Alberta to bring support to families or individuals in need.
The program allows people freedom in choosing the foods that they need and desire the most. Pocock said for some people, they want to provide a turkey dinner for their families, and for others, it’s about filling a freezer with food for the month of December.
A total of $30,500 was given in the form of grocery vouchers for the 2014 year.
“It’s always very similar numbers. Last year, we helped 387 people. The numbers compare. People are moving in and people are leaving. Situations change, but the number stays fairly close. It is fluid for sure, but no giant changes,” Pocock said.
“I think that this program really meets a need. During the Christmas season, it’s a hard time. There is more stress put on everybody, and if you’re already in a stressful financial situation, it just adds to it. Food is something that everybody needs – it’s a basic necessity. We want everybody to be able to have the Christmas food that they want, whether it’s a big turkey dinner, or some food for your freezer for the month.”
The Christmas Food Certificate Fund was part of the Community Christmas Campaign that also included a Santa’s Anonymous Program (run and organized by the Lacombe Kinsmen) and New Coats for Kids. All of these are annual programs that aim to alleviate some of the stress the Christmas season can bring in terms of financial need.
This year, the program reached out to a few more families than last year thanks to the generosity of Lacombe and the surrounding area.
All of the aspects of the program rely entirely on community and corporate donations and support.
“It is all about making these families’ lives a little bit easier,” Pocock said.
“Next year, we’re thinking of changing the name of the program so that it’s a little more direct and gives people a clear, specific idea of what we’re doing.”