The Bezanson Agriculture Society is being recognized by the provincial government after finding new ways to serve the community during the pandemic. Grande Prairie-Wapiti MLA Minister Travis Toews presented the group with the 2021 Society Innovation Award last week in recognition of the numerous events and initiatives they put on.
During the pandemic, the Bezanson Ag Society went door-to-door to reach out to seniors in the community. They also supported struggling businesses by buying food that was then distributed to those who were in need of food, or a boost.
This initiative caught on as members of the community would drop off boxes of food that would also be distributed. During this time the Freezin’ Hub also transitioned from a catering company to a frozen food business.
The Ag Society also worked on creating numerous opportunities to keep those in the community employed. Using funds from the Emergency Community Support Fund, the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta, and the United Way Alberta Northwest they were able to develop and create jobs. They were also able to employ those from the community to comply with the COVID-19 cleaning regulations of the gymnasium, one of the only gyms to remain open during the pandemic.
Professionals were hired to help individuals with their mental health during times of isolation and uncertainty. Around the holiday season, the society also worked to deliver cards and presents made by local students, and celebrated the holiday season with socially distanced events like fireworks.
The Bezanson Ag Society also recently received the Civil Society Fund Grant to help make improvements to how the society works and address social challenges.