Ponoka’s Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) is looking to raise its community profile and let residents know of the many services offered by the group.
To do that FCSS hosted a community neighbourhood-party style barbecue Thursday, June 23 with burgers, hot dogs and all the fix-ins needed to create the perfect sandwich. Chairperson Doug Gill said the barbecue was also a way to celebrate Ponoka and to encourage people to stay in town during Ponoka Stampede.
The event also brought a magician, music and fun activities for attendees.
Gill’s hope is to see a greater awareness in FCSS’s services, which not everyone may know about. One area Gill hopes to see an update in is the association’s asset mapping. Several years ago an assessment was conducted on services in the community and community needs.
“There’s still not a lot of programs covered for youth,” he added.
Another area Gill wants to see expanded is in FCSS’s parameters around spending, which are heavily restricted. For Ponoka the group is able to leverage funds from the Alberta Health Services home care grant. Spending FCSS grant dollars is more restricted.
To combat that, FCSS groups in central Alberta are advocating allowing for less restricted spending in the areas of food and transportation, said Gill. With the economy in a slump, Gill says Ponoka’s FCSS has seen an increase in requests for support in those two areas.
Members of the Ponoka County East District Fire Department helped by cooking hot dogs and burgers. Approximately 250 burgers were handed out at the barbecue.