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Spring food drive hoping to reach new participants: organizer

On April 13, about 500 volunteers will be canvassing the neighbourhoods of Cochrane, all to collect donations for the spring food drive.

On April 13, about 500 volunteers will be canvassing the neighbourhoods of Cochrane, all to collect donations for the spring food drive.

Coordinated by Helping Hands and Cochrane Family and Community Support Services (FCSS), the drive aims to fully stock the shelves of the Cochrane Activettes Food Bank.

“This year, I want to collect more food than ever,” said Terrance Haxton, coordinator of the food drive and facilitator for Helping Hands. “I always want to see more. My goal is to see the Activettes move their food bank to a bigger space.”

As it stands, Haxton said each food drive — with two running annually — collects between 20,000 – 22,000 lbs of non-perishable food items and toiletries from Cochrane and the surrounding communities of Bearspaw, Springbank, Bragg Creek and Redwood Meadows.

But Haxton stands by his goal of upping the food collection numbers, which he said is attainable.

“Right now, we barely have a third of Cochrane homes participating,” he said. “The drive hasn’t grown in terms of collection, but it has grown in terms of the community working together.”

To participate, all residents have to do is fill a grocery bag with non-perishable and unexpired food, and leave it by their front door by 10 a.m. for pickup. Volunteers will be starting their routes by 10 a.m., gathering donations and dropping them off to be sorted by a team at the Cochrane Alliance Church.

Items required by the food bank include peanut butter, rice, canned meats, coffee/tea, canned chili or stew, canned vegetables and fruit, juice, toilet paper and diapers — among others.

“Even with additional donations, our offering every six months is really what keeps the (Activettes) going,” he said.

To volunteer or gather more information on the drive, call FCSS at 403-851-2250.