The Helping Hands biannual Food Drive only seems to get bigger and better as time goes on.

With the shelves at the Cochrane Activettes Food Bank becoming increasingly low, Jackie Shier, Executive Director for Helping Hands says Saturday's (April 13) food drive was one for the books. "The Spring Food Drive went awesome. We were thrilled with the number of people that came out and the generosity of the community was phenomenal."

Not only did they collect the same amount as last fall but surpassed it. "We had a goal of 1200 cases and we surpassed that by an additional 200 which was fabulous."

Giving credit to the 700 volunteers who came out to help and the generosity of the overall community, Shier shares the day had a very positive vibe. "People were just in a great mood and everybody just stepped up and got the job done. Having those extra cases made for a little bit of extra work...which is not a bad thing. Many hands made for light work. It was awesome, we were just thrilled with the turnout, and how well it went."

If you haven't donated yet but would still like to, Shier suggests donating gluten-free alternatives, as they are always something needed. "They seem to last on the shelf a little bit longer and that seems to be something we are asked for more and more all the time. So if someone would like to still donate, rice and oatmeal are always good things to stock the shelf with."

With no missed donations on doorsteps (as far as they know), Shier reminds community members that they still have this week to drop off non-perishable donations at Safeway, No Frills, or Save On Foods. "This was the first year we didn't have any missed bags on steps...knock on wood...or someone had bags and just didn't tell us. We collect the bins a week or two after and add it in because those are people that go those 'Sorry We Missed You' cards.

Coming down from the success of this food drive, Shier reminds residents to mark September 14th on the calendar for the Fall Food Drive which will be held at Spray Lakes Sawmills Family Sports Centre.