The Cochrane Activettes Food Bank celebrated another milestone.
The volunteer-run, non-profit organization opened their doors to their newly enlarged expansion. The facility has been at 30 Griffin Industrial Point since 2008, but now the group has two spaces instead of one.
It was easy to see why the expansion was a necessary acquisition as both bays were lined with shelving and filled with food and other donations.
“The Food Bank was so cramped in our original bay, hamper packing and handouts were incredibly hard for volunteers to move around to do,” Cochrane Activettes volunteer coordinator Kathy Tucker said at Friday’s event.
Tucker attributes Cochrane’s immense population growth and Alberta’s economic downturn for the 10 per cent service increase the food bank has experienced annually.
“Now we can keep up with the growth of the community,” Tucker said.
Discussions about expanding their existing facility started a few years ago. The organization initially looked at moving to a new location, but their luck changed for the better when the occupants next door to them vacated. The organization now has the facility and space to keep frozen meat, ice cream and pre packed items when available.
Regular clients of the food bank can include almost anyone, Tucker explained.
“A perfect example is a single dad who has lost his job and is looking after his children 50 per cent of the time after a divorce,” Tucker said. She adds that many of the food bank clients can include seniors on a fixed income, someone with medical needs who might not be covered under insurance and those with no family or other support systems.
“We want people within the community to know we are here to support (them) short-term or long-term,” she added.
The Cochrane Activettes have operated in Cochrane since 1978. The organization - made up of women - are dedicated to helping the less fortunate and strive to make Cochrane and district a better place to live.
This November the organization will be launching their Share Your Christmas program. The organization will accept donations and volunteers will give out hampers, toys, bikes and clothing to underserved residents in Cochrane and area.
Food bank donations are accepted at the facility. The organization will also accept donations by cash or cheque.