Cooking programs on the Wetaskiwin FCSS menu this fall

Wetaskiwin FCSS spreads Orange Shirt Day and M├ętis culture awareness

The last of the lazy, hazy summer days are winding down, meaning it is time for Wetaskiwin Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) to kick back into high gear for the fall.

FCSS manager Linda Mueller says the organization has multiple upcoming cooking programs in the lineup, as well as some other annual ventures. “Fall is always a busy time of year.”

“The one big program … Is our Community Kitchen program,” she added.

The volunteer-facilitated program encourages those interested in learning to prepare healthy and affordable meals using basic ingredients, under the direction of a professional chief, to register.

“It’s a red seal chief that’s volunteering,” said Mueller.

Participants will be able to take home all the meals made during the program and take-home containers will be provided.

Wetaskiwin Community Kitchen will be held at the Wetaskiwin Senior Citizen’s Centre on Sept. 11 and 25 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; participants must commit to both sessions.

The cost of the program is $10 or free, providing participants commit to help with additional kitchen cleanup after each session.

“It’s a fabulous program,” said Mueller.

Participants can register by emailing wetaskiwincommunitykitchen@gmail.com or by contacting the FCSS office at 780-361-4425.

Anyone interested in volunteering for the Community Kitchen program, or donating food or funds, can contact Mueller at 780-361-4424 or at linda.mueller@wetaskiwin.ca.

Also focused on providing access and education on healthy meal preparation is the Healthy Cooking on a Budget program, which will be held Sept. 19 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at NorQuest College.

The program will be facilitated by Mervin Leibel, public health dietitian with Alberta Health Services.

Those wishing to attend are asked to bring a food bank donation.

For more information contact Mueller.

The workshop Understanding the Métis people will be held at the Wetaskiwin and District Heritage Museum. The free workshop takes place Oct. 2 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., and will be facilitated by Raye St. Denys, executive director of Shining Mountains Living Community Services.

The workshop offers a look at Métis history, the people, impacts and contributions, symbols, contemporary developments, relevant legislation, and important dates.

Those interested in participating can contact the FCSS office or Kelly Wolden at kelly.wolden@wetaskiwin.ca.

Participants are also requested to bring a food bank donation.

The FCSS annual Women’s Conference is also approaching later this fall, and volunteer recruitment begins for the Secret Santa program.

FCSS is also spreading Orange Shirt Day awareness. “FCSS will be handing out orange ribbons in honor of this important day. Please contact FCSS for information of how to get ribbons for yourself or your organization,” said Mueller.

Every Child Matters and Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake, B.C. in the spring of 2013. It grew out of Phyllis’s account of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at the Mission, and it has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually.

amelia.naismith@pipestoneflyer.ca