In times of difficulty, the community comes together. Today, as Central Alberta residents face the unexpected economic challenges presented by COVID-19, Wetaskiwin is working to feed local families.
The City of Wetaskiwin has launched the Community Response Team, and with it the Feed More initiative. Thanks to the Good Food Access Fund, the program is open to all City of Wetaskiwin residents who may be experiencing food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wetaskiwin’s Family and Community Support Services is co-ordinating the program, designed to improve the quality of life for residents impacted by the current economic challenges presented by COVID-19, explains Lindsay Breau.
Here’s how it works:
“We have lots of resources at our disposal, including gift cards, food baskets and produce boxes, but we want to ensure they get to the people who need it most,” Breau says. “What that looks like will depend on their situation.”
Households are invited to submit a social needs assessment to help the team evaluate the need of every individual or family. Once the required information is submitted, the Family and Community Support Services team will connect with applicants within two to four business days.
The program launched last week with online forms, and this week, phone and in-person applications by appointment are also available.
Within the first few days, the team had made contact with more than 30 applicants, with additional referrals starting to come from other agencies.
Connecting residents with resources
As the community comes together, Wetaskiwin’s community service providers are also working together to support residents in other ways, and refer families in need for additional services that might be available.
“If one organization tried to provide all the support, they would run out of resources,” Breau says. By working together, if a food bank client needs infant formula, for example, but that’s not available through the food bank, the Feed More program can help fill in the gaps.
The program is also raising awareness of individuals who may need support for other issues, such as mental health concerns. “We have the connections and we can help get the referrals you need,” Breau says.
Applying for help is easy
Simply visit online to fill out the Feed More Program application. For those without access to a computer, hard copy applications are available upon request. To learn more, call or text