The first of the Helping Hands spring food drives is coming up on April 23 for the east end of Cochrane.

The food drive is going to look a little different this time around as residents will not be seeing the familiar white and green plastic bags on their front steps.

Chairra Nicolle Executive Director of Helping Hands Society of Cochrane & Area says, “It was time to order new bags and we decided we just weren’t going to do that. We are going bagless as we work with the federal mandate for single-use plastics in removing them from our society along with our own values of reducing waste in our community. So, this time around there will be no plastics bags as a reminder at the front door.” Nicolle assures residents that there will be plenty of reminders through several mediums that will serve as a reminder of the upcoming food drives.

Donations will be accepted by the Helping Hands volunteers in boxes or left loose on the porch, but the preferred method would be reusable bags. Nicolle says, “The reusable bags are a great way to donate any donations for the food bank they actually use them for their hampers when they hand them out to clients.”

The change away from the plastic bags is just another example of how the Helping Hands organization changes and adjusts to the changes in the community and society. Just like the switch to the newer community drive format instead of blanketing the town in one big drive day. The community drives arose from the pandemic but the size of our growing town has necessitated the smaller more numerous drives. The Cochrane Activettes Food Bank simply can’t take in the number of donations that are generated in a large single-day drive which is the reason for community drives' phased approach remaining.

In an update on the Helping Hands Food Sheds, Nicolle says that they are seeing a decrease in all donations at the two foodsheds in Cochrane. “So, we are putting the call out to give a little shed love and donate what you can. If you have the means to donate, if you could drop by the shed and just drop something off that would be really appreciated.”

A reminder that there are now two foodshed locations one at St. Andrew’s Church and the other at the Bow Valley Baptist Church.