The Helping Hands Society of Cochrane and Area is holding its first in a series of mini-food drives on Saturday, June 13 in the Gleneagles and east end neighbourhoods.

Taking the place of their two large semi-annual food drives, it's a way to help coordinate food drives in neighbourhoods while assisting in keeping the shelves stocked at the Cochrane Activettes food bank.

"Hopefully, we'll be able to stock up the food bank enough to get it through the winter because even with these seven food drives, it will only be the equivalent of one of our old drives," says Jackie Shier, of Helping Hands.

Right now, the food bank's volunteers have been challenged to keep pace with the extra demand created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shier explains COVID-19 health and safety protocols have changed the look of the food drives. Gone for now are the old drives that attracted over 500 volunteers.

She says they continue to need volunteers for both the collection and sorting of nonperishable items, just in smaller numbers each time.

Families continue to be welcomed to assist with the collection, but parents are being asked to monitor their children.

Those sorting will be following a similar protocol, except children will not be allowed to participate.

Those wanting to volunteer in your neighbourhood (or any other), can contact Helping Hands by social media, by emailing foodrive@helpinghandscochrane.ca or by phoning 587-580-9448.

Helping Hands collection bags will be delivered to homes with the Cochrane Eagle the week of the collection in their area.  People are welcome to fill those bags or use others, and place them on their doorstep before 10 a.m. the day of the collection.

Additionally, volunteers will also be knocking on doors. They will be standing back 10 feet when it is answered. All will be equipped with personal protection equipment.

Should the items you placed outside not be collected, you can call 587-580-9448 for pickup.

Following the June 13th event, the neighbourhood food drives are scheduled for:

  • June 27       West Valley, West Terrace,West Pointe, Bow Meadows, Bow Ridge & Jumping Pound 
  • Aug. 29       Riverview, Glenbow, Sunterra & Cochrane Heights
  • Sept. 12      Sunset Ridge
  • Sept. 26      Heritage Hills & Heartland 
  • Oct. 12        Riversong, Willows, Fireside & Monterra

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