The Helping Hands Society is holding its first food drive of 2023 this Saturday, March 25 starting at 10 a.m. All non-perishable food items will be collected for the Cochrane Food Bank.
Residents of the Glen Eagles, East End, downtown, Glenbow, and Riverview can expect Helping Hands volunteers to be visiting their homes. If you have a donation left out on the front step volunteers will pick it up but if there is nothing left out, they will knock on the door. Executive Director, Laura McDonald says, “The best thing you can do is package up a non-perishable donation before 10:00 AM, put it in a reusable bag or a cardboard box, whatever works for you and pop it out on your front step, and that way no one disturbs you and the food bank receives their donation.”
Coming out of the pandemic, it was a tough go last year for the Helping Hands Society McDonald admits, “We saw some dips in the amount of food we were able to collect, and we all know why, it has been a tough period coming out of the pandemic and inflation is hitting everyone. So, we are really just asking that you give what you can. There is certainly no minimum.”
Those that are new to Cochrane, may not be aware that the Helping Hands Society and the Cochrane Activettes are two separate organizations. McDonald explains, “The Activettes actually run the Cochrane Food Bank whereas I represent Helping Hands and we are your network of volunteers. We are your group in town deploying volunteers all over town to fill the gaps serving the vulnerable.” So, this Saturday, Helping Hands will be coordinating the hundreds of volunteers who will be canvassing East Cochrane and collecting non-perishable food donations.
Helping Hands Society is responsible for the Free Food Sheds in Cochrane however, the food drive that is being held this Saturday will see all donations go to the Cochrane Food Bank as McDonald points out, “Both are terrific programs for food and security in Cochrane but two very different programs.” Although they are separate programs, the organizations work together for the better good. McDonald says, “We partner with the Activettes and the Food Bank in all kinds of ways, including donations that aren't appropriate for the Food Bank will ultimately work their way back to the Free Food Sheds.”
Fortunately, there are enough volunteers for the food drive this Saturday, however, if you would like to get involved in upcoming drives you are always welcome to reach out to the Helping Hands Society.