Cochrane's very own Free Food Shed will soon become a reality, with the help of students from Cochrane's Building Futures Program.
The Building Futures Program consists of 28 grade 10 students from Bow Valley High and Cochrane High School. The students aren't learning in your typical brick and mortar building, but rather, a garage, in a home that they're helping to build.
The program is lead by Rocky View Schools teachers - Richard Dupre and Dave Pedersen. They say that it's an opportunity for the students to get hands-on learning experience in an alternative learning environment.
As if building a home wasn't a large enough undertaking, Pedersen says that the students have taken on an additional project this year, and they'll be constructing the Free Food Shed.
"Along with Kingsmith Homes, they're really helping us do it -they're supplying the expertise, the money and the material; we're building a Free Food Shed with the Helping Hands and [St. Andrew's] United Church," says Pedersen. "Basically it's going to be a shed outside of the church where the community can drop off food donations as well as pick up food donations. It's kind of a similar idea to Free Food Fridges that have been popping up around the world but with Cochrane's own spin on it and the Helping Hands have really taken the lead on that one."
The shed will stand at about 8 feet by 4 feet and will feature shelves, a pantry space, a fridge and a freezer.
Dupre says that the shed design is still in the works and the students are evolving along with the design.
"It's ever-evolving right now," says Dupre. "Even this morning we got an email saying that the fridge size is actually going to be different, so the kids have to go back to the drawing board and reframe to fit the fridge, which is kind of fun. They've really taken this on and are owning this project."
Pedersen says that the students have been so eager to see their designs take shape, that some have gone the extra mile to bring a miniature Free food Shed to life.
"Some of our students have been working on the design as well as the Helping Hands themselves," says Pedersen. "A couple of our students have actually gone and made 3D model miniatures of the shed using digital software and they've actually printed them."
The students from the Building Futures program will start constructing the Free Food Shed in the coming weeks.