A donation from the Cochrane and District Horticultural Society will help keep food on the tables of those struggling with the rapidly rising cost of living.

Yesterday, the society made a donation of just under $800 to the Cochrane Activettes food bank from their fall plant sale  It's one of two such events they hold annually that not only delights gardeners, but also supports charitable causes.

Activettes director Janice Kenny says donations like these are crucial in keeping the food bank stocked. While there's demand year-round, it's extremely high right now and donations are currently a bit low.

"Demand seems to be right now with the price of food," she explains. "And it seems people are really showing up and sometimes need a bit more than normal."

Monetary donations like this will be used to purchase items that aren't typically donated. 

"We have one more big Helping Hands food drive happening Oct. 21, and then Share Your Christmas is coming up as well. So there's definitely a higher need at this time of year and we accept monetary and food donations."

Food supply has been top of mind for the organization this year. The proceeds from their spring sale were donated to Helping Hands to help stock their foodsheds. 

Anne Hayter, of the horticultural society, says it's all made possible by members and generous businesses donating items for the semi-annual sale, from plants to tools to books. The Cochrane Public Library provides space for the sale and volunteers come out to assist.

"We even had recruited a few neighbors because the spring sale was so busy. We were worried we weren't going to have enough people."

Molly Sapergia, of the horticultural society, says they extend a special thanks to Anything Grows Cochrane Garden Centre, Branched Out Nursery, Little Daisy Florals, Badger Ridge Greenhouse, the Cochrane Public Library, and Home Treasures for their support.

Jessie Pepin, assistant director of the Cochrane Public Library, says they are happy to host the sales.

"It's part of our commitment to helping other service organizations in the community and we are happy to have the Horticultural Society here. Next year will be our fourth year and we're happy that the donations are going to be Activettes who are one of the funders for some of the stuff in this children's area, so it's just a big circle. Yeah, it's great."

The horticultural society hasn't decided where the funds will go from next year's sales, but they set the date for the first one in the spring.

"So when people are cleaning out in the fall, maybe they can think of us, set some things aside, and hold on to them until our spring sale on May 26 (2024)," says Hayter.

To keep up-to-date on the latest from the horticultural society, or learn how to become a member, visit here. Their annual meeting, which includes presentations by guest speakers, is just around the corner, and 2024 memberships are now available.