Starting at 10 a.m. today (Apr. 21), hundreds of volunteers will be out and about collecting food donations from neighbourhoods all over Cochrane.
The bi-annual food drive is organized by Helping Hands and they are hoping to see more and more Cochranites donate to the food bank as supplies fell short in February.
Sandra Scott, executive assistant for Helping Hands, says the fall food drive saw 1,007 boxes collected and they are hopeful to beat their record set in April 2017 when 1,100 boxes were packaged up.
"I would like to break that so we can not run out before the next drive," says Scott. "Right now we get about 35 per cent (donating) and if we could get 45-50 per cent that would be awesome, it would be great to get more homes donating."
Residents are reminded to place their bag or box on the doorstep before 10 am to ensure you are not missed. Cash, cheques, and non-perishables before the expiry date and in packaging, are all gratefully accepted and welcomed. "It is good to look at providing the proteins like tuna and things. I think people like to put in the Kraft dinners and pasta but it is good to put in things that are high protein. We do take toilet paper and diapers too, which I think people forget about but is very helpful."
Donations will all be picked up by noon and drop boxes are available in outlying areas such as Bearspaw, Springbank, Bragg Creek, Redwood Meadows and Westbrook as those areas are also serviced by the Cochrane Food Bank. "We want to make sure people have an opportunity to know about it because sometimes they don't even know that that is the Food Bank that they can access. So we want them to know about it, donate and help their neighbours."
Usually, 550 volunteers make the event the success it is; between drivers, collectors, and sorters the Food Drive is a well-oiled machine. Sorting will occur at the Cochrane Alliance Church and will be underway just before 10:30 am, states Scott. "It may look like chaos when you are there but everybody knows their job and is just doing it. We are usually cleaned up, done, and out of there by 1 o'clock."
A lunch will be provided for all volunteers to make them feel welcome and appreciated.
If you are out of town or unable to donate on Saturday you can still drop off donations at Safeway, Save On Foods and No Frills as items will be picked up throughout the week following the food drive.