Where can you let officials know how to improve your community and get a free meal and gift card to boot?

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

This weekend on the local public affairs program,  Southern Tier Close Up United Way of Broome County Executive Director Jacqueline Gerchman gives an update on the Community Café series that has been collecting answers to four main questions from residents considering just what kind of community they would like to be living in while setting attendees up with dinner and a gift card.

Gerchman says they have found residents are consistently concerned about living in a safe and crime-free environment but some other responses and suggestions have been a little surprising.  One of those was a suggestion at the February 5 café at the Johnson City Senior Center that officials look into indoor play spaces for children.

Gerchman says responses are fairly consistent whether the groups are in a rural or urban location although specific needs like transportation and access to health care in rural communities can gain greater attention in those geographic areas.

The Community Café sessions are held at 5-7 p.m. at the host locations and include a free dinner, childcare and a $25 Visa gift card for participants over the age of 18.

Upcoming meetings are March 14 at the Broome County Public Library in Binghamton and April 9 at the Southern Tier Independence Center at 135 E. Frederick Street, Binghamton.

For more information and to sign up, contact Alexis Savidge at (607) 240-2007.

Southern Tier Close Up is heard Saturdays at 12:10 p.m. on News Radio 1290 WNBF.