Voucher program returns to Smoky River

The Jean Cote Quilting Club donated 13 handmade quilts to Smoky River Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) Christmas Voucher Program in 2021. Left-right, are quilter Carol Parker, FCSS programmer Anita Portsmouth and quilter Marie Dubois. “They make quilts for us each year and they are given to families who apply for vouchers,” FCSS director Crystal Tremblay says. In previous years, the club has made and donated up to 20 quilts to FCSS.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

The Smoky River Christmas Voucher program returns to support families and other households.
Smoky River Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) leads the program in the Falher and McLennan region.
FCSS director Crystal Tremblay expects a higher demand for vouchers as lots of people continue to struggle with finances and the rising prices of food, fuel, utilities and other necessities.
Last year, $14,000 in vouchers were distributed to 80 households.
The program supported 74 households in 2020 and 54 in 2019.
“No one truly knows how many people will apply, but because of the number of new food bank applications we have been receiving, we are expecting more applicants this year,” Tremblay says.
“Unfortunately, there are lots of individuals and families that have been experiencing financial hardships in our area.”
Anyone facing financial difficulties is urged to apply for vouchers.
“We encourage those who have been affected by job loss or a significant wage decrease, as well as all low-income individuals and families, to access this program,” Tremblay says.
She also invites those who have received vouchers in the past to also apply.
All personal information in the application in confidential.
“We are here to assist in keeping this Christmas season as normal as possible,” Tremblay says.
Voucher applications are available at the FCSS office located in the Town of Falher office building and in the offices of the Town of McLennan, the Village of Girouxville and the Village of Donnelly.
“We remind people that we accept donations for children up to age 16, so please keep in mind that we have older children that tend to be forgotten,” Tremblay says.
FCSS suggests board games, art supplies, make up or sporting goods are great options for teens.
Santa donation boxes are located throughout the Smoky River region.
Red Apple hosts its annual Toy Drive until Dec. 3, the date of Fill-a-Sleigh Day with toys donated to FCSS.
Toys can be donated at the FCSS office in Falher.
Applications and donations will be accepted until Dec. 9.
For more information, phone Smoky River FCSS at (780) 837-2220.

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