Wednesday , 30 November 2022
Colleen Pierce, executive director of the Community Adult Learning Program in Lac La Biche, with the Queen Elizabeth ll’s Platinum Jubilee Medal. Image submitted.

Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal awarded to Lac La Biche woman

A Lac La Biche woman has been honoured with a provincial distinction after her work in the community.

Colleen Pierce, Executive Director with Community Adult Learning Program in Lac La Biche, was recognized on Nov. 3 as one of the 2023 recipients of the Queen Elizabeth ll’s Platinum Jubilee Medal. 

The award is given in recognition of individuals who exemplify public service to learners in accessing barrier free education opportunities. 

To be eligible for the award, individuals must have made a significant contribution to the province and devoted themselves to the services of others. 

“I want to thank those who have nominated me and all the people I worked with during my lifetime that have helped me learn and grow,” said Colleen Pierce. 

“Without the support of many people I would not have been able to accomplish the things I have.” 

Colleen has been at the helm of Community Learning since 2013, a group that partners in the Lac La Biche County to best serve all people in a safe inclusive environment. 

Over 76,000 lbs of food rescued from landfill

Community Learning offers adult learning courses, literacy programs, social and senior support services, food security services, and their most recent project, the Stone Soup Food Centre. 

Unlike a food bank, this food rescue centre focuses on diverting food waste from the landfill and supports organizations by feeding those in need. 

“Since starting in December 2020, the centre has kept 76,000 pounds of rescued food out of the landfill and has been able to feed 40-75 people per day,” says Mel Kuprowsky, community dacilitator. 

A second harvest of food from the local grocery store and restaurants are also collected rather than going to the landfill.

“The stores participating with us are our local IGA grocery store, Britain’s Independent foods, Value drugs, A&W, Lucky 15 and Chef Kyle’s restaurant.” 

The centre takes in perishable, non-perishable, and frozen items. 

Food that has been rescued but is unfit to eat are then used for animal feed and compost. 

It is converted into soil in Portage College’s bio digester to limit effects on the environment. 

The food is processed, then distributed to low income individuals and families through the food bank, Out of the Elements homeless shelter, churches and mosques, seniors’ societies, schools, and to volunteers working at the center.

The Lac La Biche community learning initiative is volunteer run and relies on the citizens and corporate donations to give them a helping hand. They explore and develop ways to cultivate a sustainable food system. 

About Courtney Nielson

Courtney is new to the Lakeland Connect team joining us in November of 2022. Born and raised in Bonnyville, she has a passion for writing and brings with her enthusiasm to report on all current events happening in and around our area. She is the middle of 7 daughters. She loves dance, reading/writing and sports. The competitive drive is strong in this one. She enjoys travelling and has made annual trips driving to the East coast with her family. She is excited to expand her experience with a knowledgeable and supportive team while delivering what's important to the people of the Lakeland.