Helping Hands is THE food rescue agency in Cochrane

Access to food is a big problem. Food Banks Canada notes that as many as one in five Canadians report going hungry. Albertans have the highest rate of food insecurity in the country, and students are especially at risk. Working together at the community level with food rescue initiatives between the Helping Hands Society and local food suppliers, we can go a long way to supporting vulnerable individuals and families while keeping food out of the landfill.

Check out the counter below. That’s the impact of the food that was rescued in 2022 alone!

Helping Hands Free Food Sheds offer an elegant solution to community hunger by supporting food security and reducing food waste

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Food donated
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Meals offered to community
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Greenhouse gasses diverted

For the month of January 2024

How does food rescue work:

People, groups and businesses with food to spare–whether it’s extra canned goods, frozen food they no longer need or fresh items they have too much of—contact Helping Hands to make a donation. Those food items are then collected by volunteers and made available to anyone in need.

Food is rescued daily by Helping Hands volunteers from local food suppliers like grocery stores, bakeries, pharmacies or coffee shops. This food is often bruised or damaged fruit or vegetables that won’t sell at a typical price point, bakery items, prepared deli foods, dairy or other items that are too close to the best before date. We rescue everything and then redirect that food to our two Free Food Sheds.

How can you help support the Free Food Sheds?

With fridges, freezers and shelves aplenty, the Helping Hands Free Food Sheds can accommodate pretty much any food donation, whether it’s fresh, frozen, canned or otherwise packaged. All donations must be unopened and unused to ensure food safety.

  • Dairy products including milk, cheese, yogurt and cream

  • Butter and margarine

  • Eggs

  • Condiments

  • Juices

  • Deli meat and bacon

  • Breads, buns, tortillas, bagels

  • Frozen meals

  • Crackers, cereal and cookies

  • Pasta sauces

  • Canned meats

The Helping Hands Free Food Sheds run on a “take what you need, give what you can” motto and are accessible 24/7 for both donors and anyone who eats food. Together we can help keep our neighbours from worrying about where their next meal is coming from, or how they can feed their children. And this is all while keeping healthy, nutritious food out of the landfill!

The East Shed is located at St. Andrew’s United Church (128 1 Street E), while the West Shed can be found at the Bow Valley Baptist Church (54 W. Aarsby Road).

Thank you for your donations!

These sheds would not be possible without the generous support of our hosting sites, community businesses, individual volunteers, donors and the sponsorship of local businesses and groups including: