You may have noticed a new structure that's quickly taking shape at St. Andrew's United Church.

The students of Cochrane's Building Futures Program, Kingsmith Homes and Big Hill Electrical Services have been busy working on Cochrane's very own free food shed.

The concept of the 'take what you want and give what you can' shed, has been spearheaded by the Helping Hands Society of Cochrane and Area.

Executive Director, Chairra Nicolle says that the free food shed will be up and running within the next week!

"We have doors and walls and a roof," says Nicolle. "The signs just went up and we're just waiting on a few finishing touches and we will actually have the free food shed up and running in our community -- fingers crossed maybe by the end of the week or early next week."

Standing at 8 feet by 4 feet, the shed features shelves, pantry space, a fridge and a freezer. 

Nicolle says that volunteers will check in daily for maintenance purposes, but the shed will be open for residents to access 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Helping Hands asks that you follow a few guidelines and offers some suggestions when dropping off food donations.

"We want it sealed, " says Nicolle. "Apples, oranges those types of things are fine. No raw meat. Any type of sealed products, cereals or granola bars as long as they're sealed in their foiled packaging that's fine to drop off. Juice boxes -- if your family didn't like the juice boxes and you still have four or five left, you can drop those off."

The Helping Hands Society hopes that in addition to helping to feed the Cochrane community, the free food shed will also help to reduce waste.

"What we're hoping for is that it's a two-pronged approach," says Nicolle. "It's helping to keep people in the community with full bellies and also diminishing the waste that can happen in our community. Sometimes you buy something and you don't like it, or you're heading away and you want to donate it instead of compost it."

Helping Hands is hoping to remove the stigma surrounding free food, and sharing amongst the community. The free food shed will be accessible to anyone at any time of the day and it's located in the parking lot of St. Andrew's United Church at 128 1st Street East.