Cochrane's fall food drive is happening in a new month and at a new venue.

The food drive, held by the Helping Hands Society, is occurring on September 17 this year at Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre.

Jackie Shier, Helping Hands Society, Executive Director says with the downturn in economy- demand is up.

"The demand has gone up considerably. The food bank in 2015 helped 281 families and from 2015-2106 it has helped 357 families, so the increase is up 27%."

Shier anticipates the demand will only continue to rise; it is one of the reasons why Helping Hands chose to up the date.

"We are trying to accommodate the Activettes food bank, they have seen an increase in needs so the shelves are emptying a little sooner so it will be helpful for them to have the big donations come in earlier in the fall."

In the past Cochranites have been extremely generous, but of course Shier is hopeful more households will help. One out of three households currently donate and Shier is hopeful that number will rise.

"It would be wonderful if we could have 50% of the households donate here in Cochrane. Our population has gone up and we would love to see the donations reflect that."

Besides making sure your items are not past the best before date, Shier gives some helpful suggestions.

"We are always looking for protein based foods so that would be the chunky soups, the canned meats, peanut butter, We tend to get a lot of pasta already but the alternate grains like rice and quinoa those are always appreciated. Canned vegetables and fruit are always helpful as well, because this is in September and kids are going back to school lunchtime snacks are really helpful as well."

Helping Hands Society collects items not only in Cochrane, but throughout Western Rocky View including: Westbrook, Bearspaw, Springbank, Bragg Creek, and Redwood Meadows. Shier is looking for a couple of key volunteers in those outlying areas to lend a hand.

"It would be wonderful if we could get some of those residents from those rural areas to step forward and offer to collect just even in their own street or own neighbourhood."

Helping Hands sees upwards 500 volunteers on the day of, including multi generation families.

If you would like more information on the September 17 food drive or to volunteer, you can email Shier at