The Helping Hands of Cochrane and Area is busy preparing for the upcoming spring food drives in support of the Cochrane Activettes.
Helping Hands Executive Director Chairra Nicolle says that the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged volunteers to come up with new efficiencies to replace their typical “community wide” annual food drives.
"We were doing two food drives a year and we were doing the whole community each of those food drives," says Nicolle. "Last year we had to follow protocols as they changed and merged and all of those things so we actually did seven food drives."
Working within COVID-19 restrictions for the second year now, Helping Hands has had time to perfect its collections around town.
"We definitely have some efficiencies nailed down since last year, especially since we've been operating this way with masks and distancing for a year now," says Nicolle. "We're really hoping that it's going to be a great opportunity for the community to come together and support each other."
This year the organization has trimmed the collection dates to a total of four, visiting each home in Cochrane just once. Nicolle is hoping that the one-time collection at each home will see generous contributions to aid the food bank, and in turn, assist volunteers to work within strict COVID safety measures.
"I'm hoping that when people know that they are only going to have collection once at their home that they may be able to donate a little bit extra," says Nicolle. "That way we can continue to work within the restrictions and the protocols and not have the 800 volunteers at the one time in the building like we did in the past."
The first spring food drive will take place in Cochrane's East Central neighbourhoods. Nicolle says that collection bags will be sent in the mail, however, they will collect donations placed in any type of bag or box. Residents are asked to leave food donations on their doorstep before 10 am.
You can find the schedule for the spring food drives below. The fall food drive dates have yet to be finalized
Food Drive #1 (April 10, 2021) East Central:
- East End
Food Drive #2 (May 15, 2021) West Side:
- West Valley
- West Terrace
- West Pointe
- Heritage Hills
- Bow Meadows
- Bow Ridge
- Jumping Pound