With fall right around the corner, the Helping Hands Society of Cochrane and Area will once again be making their rounds, collecting food donations in support of the  Cochrane Activettes.

The volunteers shifted from their large-scale community-wide food drive this year to adapt to the fluid pandemic protocols. They pulled off two successful spring food drives that have helped to keep the food bank shelves stocked throughout the spring and summer months.

Helping Hands Executive Director Chairra Nicolle says that they now have the dates set for two fall collections.

"Our first one will be September 11," explains Nicolle. "We'll be hitting up the North part of Cochrane; so Cochrane Heights, Sunterra Heights, Sunset Ridge, Monterra and Cochrane Lake."

Volunteers will be visiting each home in those neighbourhoods starting at 10 a.m. Nicolle says that collection bags will be distributed differently this time around.

"They'll be going door to door with our volunteers this time," explains Nicolle. "We're hoping everyone can have their donations out starting at 10 a.m."

As always volunteers will accept donations in any type of bag or box. Nicolle says that the final fall food drive is scheduled shortly after Thanksgiving.

"It's October 16 and that will be the Southside," explains Nicolle. "Fireside, River Heights, Rivercrest, The Willows, Riversong, Precedence and Riviera."

The folks with Helping Hands have found many efficiencies over the course of the pandemic to ensure the safety of volunteers and Cochrane residents. Nicolle says that they will continue to take those same precautions during their fall collections.

"It will be drive-by, we're hoping that people will have their donations on their porches and if they don't we'll knock and step back giving space," The sorting will be done in smaller groups at the food bank so we don't have a big group of volunteers all in the same space at the same time."

Nicolle says that the food drives are an excellent opportunity for the whole family to volunteer and give back. 

If you and your family are interested in volunteering for the upcoming food drive, you can contact Helping Hands here.